Ergo is continuing its relationship with the Ports of Auckland Limited, helping to upgrade port facilities to enable them to bring their new fully electric tug into service next year. The vessel will have a 70-tonne bollard pull, the same as the port’s strongest diesel tug, but is expected to have lower operational costs and save approximately 465 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year. “In 2016 we set ourselves the goal of being zero emissions by 2040,” said Ports of Auckland (POAL) chief executive Tony Gibson. “We recognised that urgent action is needed on climate change, and we wanted to be part of the solution.”
When POAL first looked into buying an electric tug in 2016, there was nothing on the market. Eventually they were able to find a European company, DAMEN Shipyards, which was willing to work with them to create the world’s first full-size electric ship-handling tug. Following a public competition to name the new vessel, Sparky, was selected from the final shortlist of Ārahi, Hiko, Sparky and E.T.