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PD Ports investing in battery hybrid dredger

Image: PD Ports hopper_front_groenverloop[24].jpg
PD Ports is investing £23m in a hybrid-powered dredger currently under construction.

The 71 metre vessel designed to dredge the River Tees in the UK is being designed and built by Dutch shipbuilder Neptune with construction works currently being carried out a yard in Poland ahead of trails in the Netherlands in 2024.

The dredger named Emerald Duchess following a PD Ports staff competition will feature an intelligent power management system enabling it to switch between battery power and biofuels in the form of renewable diesel made from vegetable oils.

Hatches above the engine room allow in future for power units to be swapped out and replaced with fuel cells as that technology matures.

The Emerald Duchess is due to be delivered in around a year’s time and replace the 50 year old Cleveland County. PD Ports is a Statutory Harbour Authority (SHA) allowing for commercial dredging operations on the River Tees up a depth of 17 metres for passage to the Port of Hartlepool.

Frans Calje, Chief Executive Officer of PD Ports, said: “The Emerald Duchess represents a major investment in our conservancy operations as SHA and shows our high level of commitment to the socio-economic development of the River Tees and the wider region. 

“The vessel is a step ahead in terms of crew safety and sustainability and will strongly support our commitment to becoming a Carbon Neutral operation, using low emission fuel and an innovative layout to make it more fuel efficient."