World’s first hydrogen-fueled tug features Schottel propulsion

Written by Nick Blenkey
HydroTug at shipyard

HydroTug prior to launch at Astilleros Amon. [Photo: Javier Carbajales]

Launched earlier this year by Spanish shipbuilder Astilleros Amon, the world’s first hydrogen-fueled tug, the HydroTug, will be among the cleanest vessels in the fleet of the Port of Antwerp-Bruges in Belgium when it goes to work in early 2023.

“With the HydroTug, the Port of Antwerp-Bruges is making an important step in the transition to a sustainable, CO2-neutral port,” says Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO at Port of Antwerp-Bruges. “The port is systematically pursuing a policy of making its entire fleet eco-friendly by incorporating the most environment-friendly technologies available on the market.”

The HydroTug’s main propulsion system consists of two Schottel RudderPropellers type SRP 460 (2,000 kW each) featuring propeller diameters of 2.4 meters. With this thruster configuration, the 31 meter long and 12.5-meter wide vessel will achieve a bollard pull of about 65 tonnes.

HydroTug drive system
HydroTug drive system

The SRP units are driven by BeHydro dual fuel medium speed engines that burn hydrogen in combination with diesel. The engines, each delivering 2 megawatts, are equipped with the latest EU Stage V emissions after-treatment.

Combustion of hydrogen does not emit any CO2, and and the after treatment system will result in minimal emissions of NOx and particulates.

Following its delivery, the HydroTug will be used for harbor operations in the Port of Antwerp-Bruges which the second-largest seaport in Europe, after Rotterdam.

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