TTB 2022: First-of-its-kind towboat design—the Hydrogen One

Written by Heather Ervin
Inside M/V Hydrogen One towboat

Inside the M/V Hydrogen One towboat.

On March 29—Day 1 of Marine Log’s TTB 2022 conference for the tug, towboat and barge industry—Mike Complita, principal and vice president of strategic expansion for Elliott Bay Design Group; and Gregg Baldassarre, director of business development at RIX Industries, will jointly present on the exciting new Hydrogen One project—the world’s first methanol-fueled towboat.

The vessel is set to join the fleet of Maritime Partners LLC and become available for charter in 2023 to meet the pressing demand for sustainable towboat operations. The M/V Hydrogen One, will be IMO 2030 compliant, meet the USCG’s Subchapter M requirements, and have an operational range of 550 miles before refueling. Maritime Partners in cooperation with Elliott Bay Design Group, e1 Marine, and ABB are developing it.

In their presentation, Complita and Baldassarre will go over the design concept of the vessel, how the Hydrogen One will pave the way for alternative fueled vessels on the U.S. inland river system, and more.

The audience will be invited to ask Complita and Baldassarre questions immediately following the presentation.


  • The benefits and challenges of hydrogen as marine fuel;
  • Why use methanol as a hydrogen carrier;
  • The anatomy of a methanol hydrogen generator-powered towboat;
  • Info on the operation and safety of the vessel; and
  • Where the companies are in the design and construction phase of the project.


Mike Complita

Complita is a principal at Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG) and serves as the vice president of strategic expansion. With over 27 years of experience at EBDG, he brings strong leadership and engineering expertise to every project. Complita is focused on developing major growth opportunities for the firm and is regularly involved in engineering projects, recruitment and training of staff. As a professionally licensed engineer, Complita has extensive experience in all facets of naval architecture and marine engineering including an in-depth understanding of shipyard production support. He oversees design, repair and analysis projects and has been a major contributor to some of the industry’s most significant projects.


Gregg Baldassarre

Baldassarre is responsible for generating new business opportunities within the marine market by developing customer-focused strategies and trusted outcome-driven partnerships. As a proven, results-oriented leader with solid business management, customer relations, strategic planning and execution experience, he has been delivering customized solutions for complex problems across diversified market segments for over 28 years. He grows sales and profitability by navigating complex sales cycles while managing cross-functional teams in a collaborative, multi-site, team-oriented environment. He holds a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA degree.

TTB 2022

The American Waterways Operators (AWO) is partnering with Marine Log on the event scheduled for March 29-30 at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel in Mobile, Ala. TTB 2022 is the only event of its kind exclusively for the tug, towboat and barge industry, where it brings the blue and brown water sectors into one unique venue for two days of expert-led testimonies and education that will enable attendees to make better business decisions in the future.

The venue, located in Mobile Bay off the Spanish River, is not only close to museums, golf courses and the USS Alabama, it’s also close to industry shipyards, including Austal USA, Alabama Shipyard, Metal Shark Alabama, the Port of Mobile, and more. There are numerous other shipyards, terminals and industry suppliers close by.

In addition to two days of in-person discussions and dynamic Q&A sessions, the event will feature ample opportunities for networking.

As maritime recovers from COVID-19 and handles the challenges of finding and maintaining a quality workforce, the tug, towboat and barge industry is expected to experience continued growth and innovation under a new regulatory landscape and on the cusp of technological advances. The collaboration between Marine Log and the AWO enables both organizations to share resources and industry knowledge in support of the TTB industry at this critical juncture.

As ever, a focus of the program will be on lessons learned from hard-earned, real-life experience. In addition, the program will explore new ways to meet economic and environmental targets through advances in technology, finding new opportunities for the TTB market in offshore, and the latest trends in vessel design.


TTB 2022 guests will have the unique opportunity to visit Austal USA, one of the country’s premier military defense shipyards that specialize in the design, construction and support of military and commercial vessels.

Space will be limited to 80 guests, who will board two buses at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel and head to Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile for a guided tour. Each bus will start at a separate area of the shipyard—the main campus (Bus 1) and the West Campus (Bus 2).

Bus 1 will tour the outside of the Module Manufacturing Facility, where guests will go around the perimeter of the final assembly bays to see where the future USNS Cody (EPF 14), USS Augusta (LCS 34), and the Kingsville (LCS 36) are being erected.

Guests will also tour Austal USA’s vessel completion yard, where the future USS Canberra (LCS 30) and USS Santa Barbara (LCS 32) are berthed in preparation for sea trials and delivery.

Attendees on Bus 2 will start out at Austal USA’s ship repair facility, where Facility Director Harley Combs will demonstrate the improvements Austal USA has made to the facility and explain what repair capabilities are available to customers.

The buses will trade places so all tour participants can see both Austal USA campuses.

Austal USA’s main shipbuilding facility in Mobile is a 165-acre campus on the east bank of the Mobile River that includes four final assembly bays, a 700,000-square-foot Module Manufacturing Facility, two office buildings, an administration building housing the Navy’s program support staff, and a drive-through warehouse. Austal has also constructed a Vessel Completion Yard that serves as the final location for its ships prior to acceptance trials, delivery and sail away.

In 2020, Austal USA purchased 15 acres of waterfront property on the west side of the Mobile River and established a ship service and maintenance facility. The Austal USA West Campus includes a 20,000-ton Panamax-class floating drydock and 100,000 square feet of covered repair facilities.

Austal USA entered the steel shipbuilding market in 2021, breaking ground on the company’s steel manufacturing line positioning the company to start steel production in April 2022. The 117,000-square-foot manufacturing addition will house the latest state-of-the-art computerized and robotic steel processing equipment that has been specified to handle all of the current and future demands of the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard.


  • Currently, the growing list of event sponsors includes Sea Machines, ABB, and Navtek (platinum); Austal USA, Bergan Marine Systems, and Hiller Systems (gold);
  • Crowley Maritime, American Ship Repair, Motor-Services Hugo Stamp Inc., Elkon, Karl Senner, Elliott Bay Design Group, MTU—A Rolls-Royce Solution, Schottel, Christie & Grey, Altra Industrial Motion, Industrial Service Solutions, SSI, Steerprop, Great Lakes Power, Altra Industrial Motion, Marine and Industrial Rigging and Testing Solutions, Electronic Marine Systems, Acuity International, Ships Machinery International, and Moxie Media (silver); and
  • Metal Shark Boats, Bristol Harbor Group, TowWorks, Louisiana CAT / Thompson Marine, JonRie, Panolin, MOPS, Phoenix, Tnemec, KVH, United Safety & Survivability Corporation, Conrad Shipyard, RA Mitchell, Coastal Marine Equipment Inc., Separator Spares & Equipment, RIX Industries, Vulkan Couplings, DMT Marine Equipment, Docktech, Hockema Group Inc., Delgado Community College, and On Site Alignment (bronze).
  • American Equity Underwriters (AEU) will sponsor the cocktail reception at the closing of Day 1. W&O Supply is sponsoring lunch.

Registration for event is open.

For questions on sponsorships, please contact David Harkey at

Categories: Coastal, Engines & Fuel, Environment, Inland, Shipbuilding, Technology Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,