World’s first all-electric tugboat completes 18 months in operationWritten by Nick Blenkey
Turkish tugboat designer Navtek Naval Technologies says that its first Zeetug (zero-emission electric tugboat), Gisas Power, has proven its design and operational performance with consistent results over the past 18 months.
Navtek developed, designed, built and delivered the Gisas Power, the world’s first rechargeable and fully electric-powered tugboat, in early 2020 to Istanbul-based pilotage and towage specialist Gisas Shipbuilding Industry. More than 18 months later, says Navtek, the company is “celebrating the stellar performance of its pioneering technology with unrivaled results.”
Since delivering the first Zeetug , with a 32 tons bollard pull, last year, Navtek has signed three more tugboat orders with Gisas: two sister 30 tons bollard pull Zeetugs and a 45 tons bollard pull vessel.
Navatek says the success of the Gisas Power is generating interest from stakeholders who are keen to reduce emissions in harbor towage and have seen the first Zeetug maneuvering ships in Tuzla Bay, one of the busiest shipbuilding and ship repair regions in Turkey, welcoming dozens of vessels every day.
Corvus Energy lithium-ion battery packs are used to power the Zeetugs and Navtek has also developed a smart tug energy-management system for the tugs and along with quick-charging stations for the ports they operate in.
With powerful electrically charged battery packs and quick-charge stations (QCS) capable of fully charging a Zeetug within one hour, the tugs can successfully fulfill daily heavy-duty day and night time operations, says Navtek.
Navtek claims that the technology can also be adapted to any existing short distance watercraft such as ferries, coastal fishing boats, leisure boats, workboats and water taxis.
Navatek is now looking to expand its zero emissions technology with alternative green fuels such as hydrogen. “We are currently in negotiations with a major worldwide tug operator regarding the development of electric and hydrogen-powered tugs together,” says Navtek Naval Technologies general manager Ferhat Acuner.