1st US all-electric tug enters construction phase

The construction of eWolf, the first all-electric ship assist tug in the US regarded as a remarkable milestone for the entire US maritime industry, has begun at Master Boat Builders’ (MBB) shipyard in Coden, Alabama.

eWolf; Image by Crowley

Designed by Florida-based Crowley, the 82-foot vessel is expected to be completed and ready for service in mid-2023 at the Port of San Diego, in a partnership with federal and California agencies.

As reported, the eTug will be constructed under the design and on-site construction management of Crowley Engineering Services and its recently integrated Jensen Maritime naval architecture and marine engineering group.

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According to Crowley, the eWolf features a design that allows the vessel to operate fully electric while maintaining full performance capabilities and zero carbon emissions.

Technology group ABB will provide an integrated electrical package and German propulsion manufacturer Schottel will supply two RudderPropellers type SRP 430 featuring the LE-Drive for the vessel.

The eWolf will have a 6-Mwh energy storage system with sufficient capacity enabling the vessel to deliver one full day of normal work without using a drop of fuel. Batteries can supply power to the propulsion system almost instantly, ensuring effective ship support and harbour escort services without emissions.

Commenting on the construction, Garrett Rice, president of MBB, said: “Initiating construction of the first-ever fully electric US tugboat, the eWolf marks a historic moment for Crowley and Master Boat Builders. Today is also a remarkable milestone for the entire US maritime industry, as we work toward providing groundbreaking net zero-emission maritime capabilities”.

“We are excited to begin construction of eWolf at Master Boat Builders on a vessel that will open a new chapter in sustainable maritime services in America’s harbours”, said Ray Martus, vice president of Crowley Engineering Services. “We look forward to working with the men and women of MBB to deliver a high-performance vessel that offers increased efficiency and safety for our mariners”.

Expected to eliminate emissions of 178 tons of NOx, 2.5 tons of particulate matter and 3,100 tons of CO2 over a ten-year period, the vessel is said to embody Crowley’s dedication to sustainability and its recently announced commitment to reach net-zero emissions across all scopes by 2050.

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