Japan's first hybrid tugboat enters service

TSUBASA crewMARCH 28, 2013 — NYK Group member Wing Maritime Service Corporation held a ceremony in Yokohama Port yesterday to mark the entry into service of the NYK Group's tugboat Tsubasa (gross tonnage: 256 tons), Japan's first tug to feature a hybrid propulsion system.

Since March 15, Tsubasa has been used in ship assist towing operations primarily at the port of Yokohama and Kawasaki. She is equipped with a motor generator and high-performance rechargeable batteries (manufactured by the IHI Corporation) in addition to conventional diesel engines. Capable of operating solely on her diesel engines or on her electric-motors, depending upon the operating power needed, a fuel-efficient and low CO2 emission performance is achieved. The batteries can be charged not only by the onboard power generator, but also via electric-power from land. With these environmentally-friendly features, the new tugboat is expected to emit 20 per cent fewer CO2 emissions in port.

Tsubasa was built by the NYK Group's tugboat builder Keihin Dock Co. Ltd. Niigata Power Systems developed and manufactures the hybrid propulsion system.

The tugboat was developed and manufactured with support from Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) as part of the society's joint R&D with industry.

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