Zero-emission tug planned for Japanese ports

e5 Tug The propulsion system of the 'e5 Tug' is based on the ‘e5 powertrain platform’, created by e5 Lab. Image: Tokyo Kisen

A Japanese tug operator and shipping research consortium have developed a harbour tug featuring battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell power, to be launched at Yokohama Port and Kawasaki Port in 2022.

Tokyo Kisen Co. and e5 Lab Inc. jointly developed the ‘e5 Tug’ to reduce operational emissions at ports. Its propulsion system is based on the ‘e5 powertrain platform’, created by e5 Lab, which uses a large-capacity battery system as the main power source and a hydrogen fuel cell and generator as auxiliary power sources. The propulsion package will also include two 1,500 kW azimuthing drives.

The tug will “reduce CO2 emissions during all operations such as push-pull, transfer, and standby,” said Tokyo Kisen.

Combining fully electrified powertrains with renewable energy will enable zero-emission operations in the future, added the company.

The tug can also be used as a power supply for emergency use, said Tokyo Kisen. It has a power supply function from ships to land.

Tokyo Kisen and e5 Lab will seek advice on regulatory compliance from Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; ClassNK; and others.

In September, the Port of Antwerp announced its ‘Hydrotug’ project, to be built by Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) and driven by combustion engines that burn hydrogen in combination with diesel.

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