On October 27th, Belgium were recipients of the world’s first hydrogen-powered tugboat after completing construction in Spain. There shall be a hydrogen system installed on the vessel at the Port of Ostend. Trials shall be carried out there also, before it is delivered at the year’s end. The goal is to have the hydrogen-powered tug boat, Hydrotug 1, fully operational at the Port of Antwerp during the first quarter of 2023.
CMB.Tech and the Port of Antwerp have been developing it as a presentation project. The tug boat was built at the Armón Shipyards in Navia, Spain where it was launched on May 16. CMB.Tech says that it is taking a leadership role in the transition of ships to environmentally-friendly fuel and the tug is the latest in a series of unique projects demonstrating hydrogen-powered propulsion. Earlier this year, the company also launched the Hydrocat 48, a hydrogen-fueled crew transfer vessel. This is the reason why Ostend was chosen as the port to test the tug boat because it can use the hydrogen facilities of CMB.TECH’s Hydrocat 48, which operates from that port.
The Hydrotug 1 will be a fantastic addition to any shipping fleet. It is outfitted with two BeHydro V12 dual-fuel medium-speed engines that can run on both hydrogen and traditional fuel. The hydrogen-powered tug boat makes use of combustion engines that burn hydrogen in combination with diesel. She has a power of 5,500 hp. It is a world first! In the future, as this technology is developed more, shipping globally will become a much more sustainable process for the environment. Eliminating carbon from global logistics will eventually happen as new technologies like this continue to emerge.
The tug boat is able to store 415kg of compressed hydrogen installed on deck or so the port officials reckon. This should eliminate emissions of upto the equivalent of 350 cars. In addition, each hydrogen refueling of Hydrotug 1 saves the total emissions of one car for one year.