VIDEO: Crowley to build and operate America’s first fully electric harbor tug

Written by Nick Blenkey
Rendering of fully electric tug

To be called eWolf, fully electric tugboat will be built by Master Boat Builders

“The eWolf represents everything Crowley stands for: innovation, sustainability and performance,” said Chairman and CEO Tom Crowley, as Crowley Maritime announced that it is to build and operate what will be the first fully electric harbor tugboat in the U.S.

“With this groundbreaking tug design, our team continues to embrace our role as leaders in the maritime industry while providing our customers with innovative and sustainable solutions done right,” Crowley continued

The 82-foot eWolf, with 70 tons of bollard pull, will operate at the Port of San Diego’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal and will be operational by mid-2023.

The tug will be built at the Master Boat Builders shipyard in Coden, Ala., with the design and on-site construction management being providedby Crowley Engineering Services and its recently integrated Jensen Maritime naval architecture and marine engineering group.

The tug’s battery system will be charged at a specially designed, shoreside station developed with Cochran Marine.

“Crowley’s first-of-its-kind electric tugboat is a game changer. It checks all the boxes by providing environmental, economic, and operational benefits for our communities and maritime industry,” said Chairman Michael Zucchet of the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “We are proud to work with Crowley and couldn’t be more pleased the eWolf will operate exclusively on San Diego Bay.”

The eWolf will feature a design that allows the vessel to operate fully electric with full performance capabilities – and zero carbon emissions.

Cut-through rendering of fully electric tug

The eTug will feature a fully integrated electrical package provided by ABB. With 360-degree visibility, the eTug will also feature ABB’s artificial intelligence technology (AI) to increase safety and efficiency for mariners and provide sustainable performance with the reliability customers demand.

“Our dedicated shipbuilding employees are proud to be working with Crowley to lead innovation with the construction of this first-of-its-kind tugboat,” said Garrett Rice, president of Master Boat Builders. “This vessel will set a standard in the U.S. maritime industry for sustainability and performance, and its zero-emissions capability and autonomous technology will benefit the environment and the safety of mariners and vessels.”

The eTug will be a result of a partnership among Crowley, the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District, the California Air Resources Board, the Port of San Diego, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Maritime Administration, which all provided financial support and other resources.

Over the first 10 years of its use, the operation of the new eTug will reduce 178 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx), 2.5 tons of diesel particulate matter, and 3,100 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) versus a conventional tug. The electric tug will replace one that consumes more than 30,000 gallons of diesel per year.

Download the vessel specifications

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