Svitzer to Pioneer Methanol Fuel Cell Tug Operations

Source: 11/9/2021, Location: Europe

Svitzer, A.P. Moller - Maersk’s world leading towage operator, unveiled plans to introduce the world’s first fuel cell tug boat for harbour towage operations. Scheduled to enter operation in Svitzer’s Europe region by Q1 2024, the fuel cell tug will be running on green methanol.

The project builds on close cooperation between Svitzer and Maersk with the aim to explore methanol fuel cells as a carbon neutral alternative to today’s fossil fuel based solutions.

Fuel cells will be applicable for tugs earlier than for larger vessels and further, tugs are built significantly faster. With this tug we get hands-on experience in deploying fuel cells as an alternative to diesel or pure electric power – it is a significant step in Svitzer’s ambition to lead the decarbonization of towage and an important contribution to Maersk’s overall efforts within this agenda. Ingrid Uppelschoten Snelderwaard Global COO, Svitzer

The collaboration between Svitzer and Maersk aims to determine technologies that support Maersk’s broader decarbonization journey. Pioneering fuel cell tug operations on green methanol, the aim is to extract and apply knowledge and operational experience of methanol feasibility from the smaller, near-shore operating tug and onto larger ocean-going container vessels.

Fuel cell technology could be a disruptor in the maritime technology space, promising high efficiencies and eliminating the need for substantial amounts of pilot ignition fuels while removing harmful emissions. Thus, we have been monitoring the technology for the last few years, and with the accelerating developments in the ‘Power-to-X’ arena, we have decided to step up our engagement in fuel cells, especially in combination with green methanol. Ole Graa Jakobsen, Head of Fleet Technology, A.P. Moller - Maersk

Svitzer has signed an agreement with the leading naval architect company, Robert Allan Ltd, to design the tug. It will function as a pilot design also for future Svitzer newbuilds.

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