Svitzer says it has progressed to the second phase of its work in designing a methanol hybrid fuel cell (MHFC) tug with naval architect Robert Allan.
The firm says it has already carried out technical studies to establish the feasibility of this kind of vessel to make sure it can accommodate the real-world operational requirements of a tug.
The next phase, it says, is to complete the vessel design, scope considerations for its construction and select necessary equipment.
“The MHFC tug will use an electrical propulsion system with methanol fuel cells and batteries, delivering a self-sustained tug with longer endurance and fewer operational constraints than a purely battery-powered vessel,” says Svitzer. “The MHFC tug will use an electrical propulsion system with methanol fuel cells and batteries, delivering a self-sustained tug with longer endurance and fewer operational constraints than a purely battery-powered vessel.
“Secondary methanol-fuelled generators will provide back-up power if required without the need for a secondary fuel. Calculations indicate that the MHFC tug running on green methanol would prevent approximately 1,300 tonnes of CO2 annually from being emitted into the atmosphere, compared to fossil-fuel-based vessels of the same dimensions within Svitzer’s global fleet.”
Robert Allan’s TRAnsverse tug design will form the basis of the vessel, and the batteries and fuel cell system will be sourced from other companies with which Svitzer says it will ‘forge partnerships’.
Svitzer appears to be ramping up its exploration of methanol. In April it signed an MoU with Caterpillar Marine to adopt solutions that could give Svitzer the option to use methanol across its fleet.
Svitzer is not the only one. In May, Damen and Boluda announced a partnership to launch a methanol-powered tug.