Hydrotug 1 hydrogen powered tugboat

The port of Antwerp-Bruges and Belgium cleantech company CMB.TECH have unveiled that the hydrogen-powered and 65 ton bollard pull tugboat “Hydrotug 1” is now ready for operation in the Antwerp port area.

The “Hydrotug 1” is the first tugboat in the world to be powered by combustion engines that burn hydrogen in combination with traditional fuel, and it is the first vessel that uses the BeHydro V12 dual fuel medium speed engines – each providing 2 megawatts – with the latest EU Stage V emissions aftertreatment.

With these engines, the vessel uses clean fuels, resulting in an overall reduction of 65% of traditional fuel consumption and associated emissions in the tugboat’s overall cycle.

The port of Antwerp-Bruges notes that the “Hydrotug 1” can store 415kg of compressed hydrogen in 6 stillages installed on deck and eliminates the emission’s equivalent of 350 cars per year.

“Hydrogen is one of the keys to an economy and society with minimal climate impact. As such, it is one of the raw materials, energy sources and fuels of the future. Port of Antwerp-Bruges wants to fully exploit its potential and is committed to being an active pioneer in the hydrogen economy on a European scale. With the “Hydrotug 1”, the world’s first hydrogen-powered tugboat, we want to be a source of inspiration as well as an example for other ports,” said Jacques Vandermeiren, chief executive of port of Antwerp-Bruges.

“The “Hydrotug 1” is the world’s largest hydrogen-powered vessel and it is “made in Europe”! We are delighted and grateful to have the Port of Antwerp-Bruges as our partner. Port of Antwerp-Bruges shares the same commitment as CMB.TECH to decarbonizing shipping and showcasing technology that can be scaled. The “Hydrotug 1” is another big step towards zero-carbon shipping and proves that there is a vibrant energy transition industry in Antwerp, Belgium and Europe,” said Alexander Saverys, chief executive of CMB.TECH.

“Port of Antwerp-Bruges nurtures the ambition to become the energy gateway of Europe as a ‘green port’ and as pioneers. Hydrogen plays an important role in this ambition. This is precisely why the launch of the Hydrotug 1 is a significant moment. The Hydrotug 1 can run on both hydrogen and traditional fuel, beautifully demonstrating the potential of the transition to clean energy in the shipping industry,” noted Annick De Ridder, vice mayor for the port, urban development, spatial planning and patrimony of the City of Antwerp, President of the Board of the Port of Antwerp-Bruges.

Video Credit: Port of Antwerp-Bruges.