Turkey’s Med Marine and Canadian naval architect Robert Allan Ltd (RAL) have teamed up to design a range of electric and hybrid tugs.

The MOU is an example of cooperation between tug owner, designer and builder, with Med Marine naming its electric tug series under the registered brand of VoltRA.

RAL and Med Marine will design and build electric and hybrid tugs (Med Marine)

Source: Med Marine

Med Marine CEO Hakan Şen Left) signs an agreement with Robert Allan CEO Mike Fitzpatrick to design and build electric and hybrid tugs

Med Marine builds tugs employing Turkey’s Eregli Shipyard and also employs them either for its own operations or for clients globally. It has been cooperating with RAL since 1995 with around 200 tugs constructed to the naval architect’s designs.

“As Med Marine, we are always in pursuit to seek and be ready for forthcoming challenges to serve our clients best with the latest features that technological advancements offer,” said Med Marine’s CEO Mr Hakan Şen.

“Once again, we have aligned with RAL for the design of these advanced technological electric and hybrid tugboats.”

Five versions of the VoltRA battery electric tugs are offered on Med Marine’s website, vessel lengths being: 21.4m, 23.45m, 25.45m, 28.54m and 30.3m. Bollard pulls respectively are 50 tons, 70 tons, 80 tons, 85 tons and 90 tons, with maximum draughts ranging from 4.6m to 6.2m.

This latest battery electric and hybrid selection joins a wide range of tugs from Med Marine. Seven ASD designs are illustrated from RAL, SeaTech Solutions and Cintranaval, its conventional tug catalogue offers five variants from 20 tons to 40 tons bollard pull along with three powerful RAL TRAktor Tugs designs between 70 tons and 80 tons bollard pull.

Changing industry mindset

At tug and salvage industry conferences in Marseille and Liverpool as recently as 2018 and 2019, both attended by MJ, there was a cautious but respectful reaction from industry delegates to the subjects of alternative-fuel options and remote and autonomous tug operation.

What a difference five years have made.

While in autonomy there is little movement, in alternative fuels the push for greener fuel sources, including batteries, plus mechanical innovations to improve efficiency, is seeing significant progress.

The benefits for tug owners, the desire for a green image from their customers and public demands for a cleaner environment in general have dovetailed to promote change and innovation on the subject of fuels for the future.