Crowley to build and operate first U.S. all-electric tugboat

Florida-based Crowley Maritime Corporation has revealed its plans to build and operate the first all-electric harbor tug in the United States. 

As informed, the fully electric tugboat eWolf will be built by Master Boat Builders in Coden, using the design and on-site construction management by Crowley Engineering Services and its recently integrated Jensen Maritime naval architecture and marine engineering group. 

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The 82-foot vessel will generate 70 short tons of bollard pull and “can complete a job without expending a drop of fuel,” Crowley claims.

Moreover, the tug will be fitted with ABB’s electrical power systems and AI autonomous technology for navigational safety. 

The eTug’s battery system will be charged at a specially designed, shoreside station developed with Cochran Marine.

Furthermore, the company expects that the tugboat will eliminate emissions of 178 tons of NOx, 2.5 tons of particulate matter and 3,100 tonnes of CO2 over a ten-year period.

“This vessel will set a standard in the U.S. maritime industry for sustainability and performance, and its zero-emissions capability and autonomous technology will benefit the environment and the safety of mariners and vessels,” Garrett Rice, president of Master Boat Builders commented.

Crowley’s eTug, which is expected to be operational by mid-2023, will operate at the Port of San Diego’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, according to the company.

“Crowley’s … electric tugboat is a game changer. It checks all the boxes by providing environmental, economic, and operational benefits for our communities and maritime industry,” said Chairman Michael Zucchet of the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners.

The eTug design is a result of a partnership among Crowley, the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District, the California Air Resources Board, the Port of San Diego, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Maritime Administration, which all provided financial support and other resources.

In April 2021, Crowley announced that its design for the first fully electric U.S. tugboat with autonomous technology was completed.

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