Port of Antwerp develops world’s first hydrogen-powered tug

Port of Antwerp has ordered construction of a hydrogen-powered tug, the first in the world.

This unique “Hydrotug” is driven by combustion engines that burn hydrogen in combination with diesel.

It is the first vessel with output in the 4000 kW class to be powered by hydrogen-diesel dual fuel.

The motors also comply with the very strictest standard, the EU Stage V, making them the lowest-rated for emissions on the market.

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.

Ultra-low emissions

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 hydrogen-powered tug is ultra-low-emission.

Combustion of hydrogen 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.

This innovation is part of an integral greening program of the own fleet, whereby systematic efforts are made to integrate the most environmentally friendly technologies available.

Port alderman 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.

“With Port of Antwerp we aim to develop its potential to the full, committing ourselves as active pioneers in the hydrogen economy on a European scale.

“The ecosystem represented by the Antwerp port platform is an ideal testbed for this technology on a large scale.

“In this way we seek to be a source of inspiration and to set an example for other ports.”

The Port of Antwerp is Europe’s second-largest port, with more than 300 line services to over 800 destinations globally.

The port annually handles around 235 million tonnes of international maritime freight, and is home to Europe’s largest integrated chemical cluster.

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