Construction is due to begin shortly on the “world’s first” hydrogen-powered tug, ordered by the Port of Antwerp in Belgium.
Hydrotug is driven by combustion engines that burn hydrogen in combination with diesel and will be built by Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB), a pioneer in the field of hydrogen power for shipping.
By lending support to this promising technology, the Port of Antwerp said it hopes 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.
Hydrotug is expected to be operational within two years.
Port of Antwerp CEO Jacques Vandermeiren said, “As an industrial seaport, 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 alternative, renewable sources of energy.”
“At Port of Antwerp we are setting a good example with this significant step towards making our own tugs eco-friendly.”
Alexander Saverys, CEO of Compagnie Maritime Belge, added, “We are convinced of the potential of hydrogen as the key to sustainable shipping and making the energy transition of a reality.”
“The expertise that we acquire with the Hydrotug will enable us to further develop the use of hydrogen as a ship’s fuel.”