Concept: Port of Antwerp-Bruge has partnered with Belgium-based maritime company Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB.TECH) have introduced the world’s first hydrogen-powered tugboat named Hydrotug. The duo claims that Hydrotug runs on a combination of hydrogen and conventional fuel and would be used by the Port of Antwerp-Bruges to become a sustainable and climate-neutral port by 2050.

Nature of Disruption: The Hydrotug is 12m wide and 30m long and can store 415kg of compressed hydrogen equivalent to eliminating emissions from 350 cars. It weighs around 65 tons and is powered by two BeHydro hydrogen dual-fuel medium-speed V12 engines. The BeHydro engine is developed by a JV (joint venture) between the CMB.TECH and Anglo Belgian Corporation (ABC) and is available in dual-fuel and hydrogen-only variants. The dual-fuel version reduces CO2 by 85% in operation and meets IMO (International Maritime Organisation) Tier III with aftertreatment. Hydrotug is the first vessel to be powered by the BeHydro engine and each engine provides 2 megawatts (MW)  and meets the latest EU Stage V emissions aftertreatment. The engines have passed the necessary Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT) that validate the proper functioning of the equipment. This is required by Lloyd’s Register, a global professional service that specializes in engineering and technology for the maritime industry and improves the safety of ships.

Outlook: According to International Maritime Organization (IMO), the shipping industry is responsible for about 3% of man-made CO emissions and burns 5 million barrels of fossil fuel per day. The IMO has adopted various measures to target a 50% reduction in emissions by 2050 compared to 2008. Shipping companies are adopting various measures to make their operations sustainable and are choosing hydrogen as the fuel source for sustainable shipping. Port of Antwerp-Bruge and CMB.TECH claims that the Hydrotug can help significantly improve the air quality in ports and bring hydrogen technology ports across the globe. Port of Antwerp-Bruge is planning to make green hydrogen available by 2028 and is working on a project to develop a hydrogen delivery pipeline between the twin ports and into the European hinterland.

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