The first hydrogen tugboat draws closer to the Port of Antwerp-Bruges

Posted on May 23, 2022

Port of Antwerp-Bruges and CMB.TECH announced today (May 18), that the Hydrotug, the ‘first hydrogen-powered tugboat’, will be operational in the first quarter of 2023.

The innovative hydrogen-powered vessel had its first water launch on Monday (May 16), at Armom Shipyards in Navia, Spain. Remaining construction work on the ship will be completed ahead of sea trials later this year.

The Hydrogtug consists of two BeHydro V12 fuel fuel medium speed engines, which can run on hydrogen or traditional fuels, providing 2MW each.

As the Belgian port continues to strive towards its Net Zero targets, the Hydrogtug which can store 415kg of compressed hydrogen, and is claimed to eliminate the equivalent emissions of 350 fossil fuelled cars.

Ordered in September 2019, the Hydrotug was hoped by the then Port of Antwerp, which has recently merged with the Port of Zeebrugge, that the rest of the shipping industry would follow its lead.

Roy Campe, Chief Technical Officer at CMB.TECH, said, “We are delighted that Port of Antwerp-Bruges will be the first user of Hydrotug, the world’s largest hydrogen-powered vessel.

“With this technology we can significantly improve the air quality imports and bring hydrogen technology to every port worldwide.”

In May 2021, the Port of Antwerp announced that it wanted to deploy 300 hydrogen-powered trucks with Air Liquide and DATS 24.

Rob Smeets, Manager of Operations at Port of Antwerp-Bruges, commented, “By 2028 our goal is to have the first green hydrogen molecules on our platforms.

“Moreover, we are investigating a hydrogen pipeline between the two ports and towards the European hinterland so we can use as much renewable energy as possible.

“This Hydrotug is a fantastic example of what our sustainable future should look like.”


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