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Sparky wins International Tug and Salvage Tug of the Year

​Ports of Auckland are delighted to announce that our e-tug Sparky is the winner of the International Tug and Salvage (ITS) Tug of the Year award!

Sparky is the first full-sized ship handling electric tug in the world, and we are thrilled to see the industry recognise such an innovative and sustainable vessel as Tug of the Year.

Sparky is the result of a six-year collaboration between Ports of Auckland and Damen Shipyards – who took on the project in 2016. Damen Shipyards became a true partner in this project, and it's extremely rewarding to see Sparky getting this industry wide recognition.

For Allan D'Souza, GM Marine and Multi Cargo Operations at Ports of Auckland who has been leading the e-tug project for the port, Sparky is a dream come true.

"This award recognises all the hard work from the team at Ports of Auckland and Damen to bring Sparky to life, and we are looking forward to seeing the rest of the industry follow her lead."


Notes for media:

  • Sparky is the first Damen RSD-E Tug 2513.
  • She has a 6-metre draft, is 24.73 length and has two azimuth thrusters with 3-metre diameter propellers.
  • Sparky has a 70-tonne bollard pull (the same as the port's strongest diesel tug, Hauraki).
  • There are 8 battery racks holding 2,240 batteries, totalling 2,784 kWh of power.
  • We expect Sparky to do up to four shipping moves on a charge of batteries. Recharge time is approximately two hours.
  • Sparky is anticipated to save approximately 465 tonnes of CO2 in diesel emissions annually.
  • To ensure absolute safety – of utmost importance in shipping – Sparky also has two 1000kW back-up generator sets which will only be used in cases of emergency.
  • The expected cost of operating Sparky is less than a third of the cost of running a diesel tug.
  • Sparky was named via a public competition and vote in 2020.

Images and video:
The following link contains downloadable files with footage and photos of Ports of Auckland's Sparky arriving at Auckland and her blessing ceremony:

For more information:​

Julie Wagener

Head of Communications

M: 027 421 6697

E: [email protected]