World’s first hydrogen-fueled tugboat launched

Written by Nick Blenkey
hydrogen powered tugboat

Hydrotug prior to launch

Demonstrating that fuel cells are not the only way to use hydrogen is a marine fuel, the world’s first hydrogen-powered tugboat, the Hydrotug, was launched at the Navia, Spain, shipyard of Astilleros Armón on May 16.

The 65-tons bollard pull vessel is powered by two BeHydro hydrogen dual-fuel medium speed V12 engines and is being built for the Port of Antwerp-Bruges and CMB Tech, an offshoot of Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB). The BeHydro engine is a joint venture between CMB and engine manufacturer ABC.

The Hydrotug is the first vessel to be powered by the new BeHydro engines, which have passed Lloyd’s Register factory acceptance tests (FAT) and are each rated at 2 MW. They incorporate the latest EU Stage V emissions after treatment.

Following the launch, outfitting of the vessel is continuing with sea trials set to follow later this year. The goal is to deliver the Hydrotug by the end of this year and to have it fully operational in the first quarter of 2023 in Antwerp.

“We are delighted that Port of Antwerp-Bruges will be the first user of Hydrotug, the world’s largest hydrogen-powered vessel,” said CMB Tech CTO Roy Campe. “The technology has been approved by Lloyd’s Register and we are ready to approach the global market of 10,000 tugs. With this technology we can significantly improve the air quality in ports and bring hydrogen technology to every port worldwide.”

Hydrotug in the water
Hydrotug will now undergo outfitting prior to sea trials later this year
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