PD Ports has confirmed its commitment to the economic success and environmental sustainability of the River Tees with a £23 million (US$30 million) investment in a new dredging vessel.
The 71 metre long dredger, which has already been named the Emerald Duchess following a competition among PD Ports employees, will arrive at Teesport next summer.
The vessel has been designed and built by Dutch shipbuilder Neptune to an exacting specification, with the help of PD Ports’ technical experts, to ensure it can carry out its tasks on the Tees to the highest environmental and safety standards.
Currently under construction at a shipyard in Poland for commissioning, ahead of trials in the Netherlands in 2024, the Emerald Duchess will replace the Cleveland County, which had served the Tees under PD Ports’ conservancy team for 50 years.
“Fitted with an innovative intelligent power management system, the Emerald Duchess can swap between power from a battery pack equivalent to 10 Tesla cars and fuel made from hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), also known as renewable diesel,” said PD Ports in a statement.
It is also ready for future innovation, with hatches above the engine room to allow power units to be swapped out for modern fuel cells as the technology matures, using methanol or ethanol fuel.
PD Ports added that extensive modelling, using computational fluid dynamics, has taken place to create a hull that is as refined as possible while moving through the water to minimise fuel consumption.
The investment in Emerald Duchess, which will be able to carry 2,500 tonnes and hold up 2000 cubic metres of dredged material, is a step in PD Ports’ commitment to be Carbon Neutral by 2027, supporting its ambitions to become the United Kingdom’s most sustainable port operator.