Ports of Auckland begin plans to replace diesel tugs as part of their zero carbon emissions goal

The Ports of Auckland has ordered a full-size electric tug boat to replace one of its current diesel fleet as part of a goal to have zero carbon emissions by 2040.

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It’s part of the Ports of Auckland’s goal to have zero carbon emissions by 2040. Source: 1 NEWS

A full-sized tug is capable of 70-tonnes of pulling power but uses 200,000 litres of diesel a year.

A new suggestion to keep its strength but lose the emissions is to use a battery powered version.

"We want to be a leader globally in sustainability and this is the first step." Ports of Auckland Chief Executive Tony Gibson told 1 NEWS.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw believes this will begin a "significant" trend.

An 'e-tug' is said to need a charging station and will last around four hours before needing a boost.

The Ports won't disclose the cost, but it is understood to be up to $18 million.

"Over the life of the vessel we'll save about two and a half million dollars, so yes the capital cost up front is more, but the cost of operating it is a fraction of operating a diesel tug." Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says.

"There will be other ports around New Zealand saying, 'hey this is a great idea'."

"It's the tugs now, it'll be the ferries in the near future but very soon we hope it'll be all of our bus fleet as well."

The new e-tug is expected to replace their oldest vessel in 2021.