Yesterday, KOTUG was presented with the Shipping Award at the Maritime Awards Gala, held in the Onderzeebootloods (submarine shed) at RDM Rotterdam. The Rotterdam company was awarded the annual environmental and innovation prize by the Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners (KVNR) for two new hybrid Rotortug tugboats which it has put into operation.
The hybrid propulsion system enables the rudder propellers of the new tugs, the RT Evolution and the RT Emotion, to be driven by diesel-direct, diesel-electric or fully-electric propulsion. What makes the new vessels unique is their special design. Thanks to a specially shaped hull, the vessels are very stable during assistance operations, but at the same time have the lowest possible resistance when not towing. Partly as a result of this, they can achieve a fuel saving of 27%.
In addition to the Shipping Award, four other important maritime prizes were presented. The Maritime Designer Award went to Victor Verhulst for his ‘underwater lounge’ for luxury yachts. For his study into cylindrical containers which can carry equipment for special forces on the exterior of submarines, Lieutenant Kevin Stouten was awarded the Van Hengel-Spengler Prize by the Royal Netherlands Navy. Hull Vane received the Maritime Innovation Award for its ‘upside-down underwater spoiler’, which can lead to fuel savings of between 10 and over 20 percent. KNVTS Ship of the Year was the Maintenance Support Walk-to-Work Vessel ‘Kroonborg’, built by Royal Niestern Sander.
The Gala also marked the start of the Maritime Week 2015. Many of the activities during this event are held in Ahoy, Rotterdam, where the Europort trade exhibition will be organised from 3 to 6 November. Other activities during the Maritime Week include the opening of the Maritime Academy Holland Training Center in Harlingen, the HBO Offshore Network Symposium in Leeuwarden and the ‘Hunt for Pirates’ quest for children in the Marine Museum in Den Helder. The week will be concluded on Saturday 7 November with the Open Days of various branches of Damen Shipyards and the Sea Cadets.
The official opening of the Maritime Week was performed yesterday evening by Melanie Schultz van Haegen, Minister for Infrastructure and the Environment: “The Dutch maritime sector is not only a leading player in Europe, but also in the world. In the Maritime Strategy, we have made agreements to maintain and strengthen our top maritime position. Thanks partly to excellent innovations. It is this high-quality knowledge that keeps us among the world’s top players.”