Cat to support Wilson Sons on decarbonization

Written by Nick Blenkey
Wilson Sons tug

Wilson Sons is Brazil’s largest tugboat operator

Caterpillar has signed an MOU that will see it support Brazil’s Wilson Sons with the adoption of tugboat and offshore vessel powertrain technologies and services that enable the fulfillment of emissions reduction and decarbonization in towage and offshore operations.

Wilson Sons is the largest integrated port and maritime logistics operator in the Brazilian market. It is Brazil’s largest tugboat operator and a major offshore services sector.

Working with Cat dealer Sotreq, Caterpillar will oversee the implementation of retrofits and upgrades to reduce the environmental impact of Wilson Sons’ existing fleet and on technology-enabled services for emissions monitoring, and the use of low or no carbon fuels.

“Improving sustainability in maritime operations requires us to not only address building new, more efficient ships that use low carbon fuels, but also understand how we can reduce the impact from existing fleets,” said Brad Johnson, vice president and general manager, Caterpillar Marine. “The collaboration with Wilson Sons allows us to find solutions to both of these challenges from the perspective of a large operator.”

“The MOU is a key step for Wilson Sons to boost the efficiency and sustainability of port operations,” said Adalberto Souza, executive director of Wilson Sons Shipyards. “We have planned to build six new Cat powered tugboats, two of which have been delivered already. These tugs incorporate new technologies, including IMO Tier III emissions standards. An innovative tug design allows an estimated reduction of up to 14% in greenhouse gas emissions thanks to more efficient hydrodynamics.”

“For the coming years,” he added, “we are planning to build new tugs designed for reduced emissions, usage of batteries or alternative fuels like biodiesel, methanol or ethanol.”

“We’re looking at a broad range of solutions in our portfolio in alignment with Wilson Sons’ goals,” said Andres Perez, global tug segment manager, Caterpillar Marine. “In the case of engine upgrades, our solution leverages the high durability of Caterpillar Marine engines. It adds engineering improvements, emissions reduction, and performance enhancements developed since the inception of the original asset. When combined with major overhauls, customers can significantly improve the value of their assets for a reasonable incremental investment. In addition, we fully leverage Cat Reman, reducing waste and minimizing the need for raw material, energy and water associated with producing new parts.”

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