PORT of Antwerp has ordered construction of a tug powered by hydrogen, the first in the world. This unique “Hydrotug” is driven by combustion engines that burn hydrogen in combination with diesel. The motors also comply with the very strictest standard, the EU Stage V, making them the lowest-rated for emissions on the market. This ultra-low-emission tug is being built by Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB), a pioneer in the field of hydrogen power for shipping. With this world first, Antwerp is taking an important step in the transition to a sustainable, CO2-neutral port. By lending support to this promising technology Port of Antwerp hopes that the shipping industry will follow. The port is systematically pursuing a policy of making its entire fleet eco-friendly by incorporating the most environment-friendly technologies available on the market.
The combination of this dual-fuel technology with a state-of-the-art particle filter and catalyser designed to meet the very highest standards will ensure that the Hydrotug is ultra-low-emission. Combustion of hydro-gen does not emit any CO2, and the particle filter combined with the catalyser will result in minimal emissions of NOx and particulates.
Construction is due to begin shortly and the Hydrotug is expected to be operational within two years, said a release.
Port of Antwerp CEO, Mr Jacques Vandermeiren, declared: “As an industrial sea-port, Antwerp’s role in the energy transition should not be underestimated. We are working towards becoming a CO2-neutral port. Together with our partners, we are preparing for the future in a constant search for innovative applications and opportunities. With this world first, we aim to further prepare the way for alternative fuels such as hydrogen, in order to realise the transition to alter-native, renewable sources of energy. At Port of Antwerp, we are setting a good example with this significant step to-wards making our own tugs eco-friendly.”
Hydrogen, the fuel of the future
Port alderman, Ms Annick De Ridder, said: “Hydrogen is one of the keys to an economy and society with minimum impact on the environment. As such it is one of the fuels of the future.”