Port of Antwerp-Bruges & CMB.TECH Prepare Hydrotug, the First Hydrogen-Powered Tugboat

By May 18, 2022 3   min read  (575 words)

May 18, 2022 |

Fuel Cells Works, Port of Antwerp-Bruges & CMB.TECH Prepare Hydrotug, the First Hydrogen-Powered Tugboat

Port of Antwerp-Bruges and CMB.TECH will soon welcome the Hydrotug, the first hydrogen-powered tugboat. The Hydrotug consists of two BeHydro V12 dual fuel medium speed engines that can run on both hydrogen and traditional fuel. This groundbreaking development will be deployed by Port of Antwerp-Bruges as an important step in the transition to a sustainable, climate neutral port by 2050 and will be operational in the first quarter of 2023.

With the Hydrotug, CMB.TECH confirms its international pioneering role in the transition to ships powered by environmentally friendly fuel.

CTO of CMB.TECH – Roy Campe: “We are delighted that Port of Antwerp-Bruges will become the first user of Hydrotug, the world’s largest hydrogen-powered vessel. The technology has been approved by Lloyd’s Register and we are ready to approach the global 10,000 tugboat market. With this technology, we can significantly improve air quality in ports and bring hydrogen technology to every port worldwide.”

The Hydrotug is part of an integrated greening program for the Port of Antwerp-Bruges fleet. With this innovation, Port of Antwerp-Bruges aims to integrate the most environmentally friendly technologies available. The Hydrotug can store 415kg of compressed hydrogen in 6 racks installed on the deck and eliminate emissions equivalent to 350 cars.

Vice Mayor for Port, Urban Development, Spatial Planning and Heritage City of Antwerp, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Port of Antwerp-Bruges – Annick De Ridder: “The unified port cherishes the ambition to be the energy gateway to (green) hydrogen plays an important role here. We therefore applaud such projects. It is these kinds of innovations that ensure that our port continues to excel as an economic engine for Flanders. We are already looking forward to the arrival of the hydrotug in Antwerp by the end of the year.”

Port of Antwerp-Bruges Director of Operations – Rob Smeets: “Port of Antwerp recently merged with the port of Zeebrugge to form one large organization that aims to reconcile people, climate and the economy. Our common goal is to be carbon neutral by 2050, following many different sustainability paths, such as carbon capture and storage, and hydrogen efforts. Our goal is to have the first green hydrogen molecules on our platforms by 2028. In addition, we are investigating a hydrogen pipeline between the two ports and to the European hinterland, so that we can use as much renewable energy as possible. This hydrotug is a fantastic example of what our sustainable future should look like.”

BeHydro, a joint venture between CMB.TECH & ABC, has recently developed the technology for higher power medium-speed engines. The Hydrotug is the first vessel to be powered by the dual fuel medium speed engines – each delivering 2 megawatts – with the latest EU Stage V emission after-treatment. The engines have passed the necessary Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT) that validate the correct operation of the equipment. This is required by Lloyd’s Register, a global professional service specializing in engineering and technology for the maritime industry and improving ship safety.

The first launch of the Hydrotug at Armón Shipyards in Navia Spain took place on Monday, May 16, and in the coming months all remaining construction activities of the vessel will be completed (outfitting) so that the sea trials can follow later this year. The aim is to deliver the Hydrotug at the end of this year and to have it fully operational in Antwerp in the first quarter of 2023.

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