Thyssenkrupp Veerhaven sets sights on methanol dual-fuel pusher tug

Dutch logistics subsidiary of thyssenkrupp Steel Europe, thyssenkrupp Veerhaven, has commissioned two specialized design offices, C-Job Naval Architects and Kooiman Marine Group, to draw up designs for a methanol dual-fuel pusher tug.

thyssenkrupp Veerhaven

As informed, thyssenkrupp Veerhaven the project is part of the company’s effort to operate a climate-friendly fleet with the new generation of pusher boats. The seven pusher tugs currently in operation ply a route between Europoort Rotterdam and the Ruhr area throughout the year, transporting around 18 million metric tons of raw materials for the iron and steel plants.

Following the design process, the seven pusher boats are to be gradually superseded by environmentally and climate-friendly models at the end of their technical service life, as far as possible.

Furthermore, the firm plans to replace diesel with environmentally friendly fuel, methanol.  The plans to use methanol as a fuel could save around 80 percent of current CO2 emissions, compared to the fossil fuel diesel, according to thyssenkrupp Veerhaven.

The level of the River Rhine will tend to dip below critical levels more and more frequently during the summer months due to the progression of climate change, which means the planned ship will also be optimized for lower water levels.

“In this challenging area of inland waterway shipping, there are currently no vessels that run on environmentally friendly fuels such as methanol. We intend to play a pioneering role and, with our planned fleet modernization, we are laying the foundation for innovative technologies that will significantly reduce our carbon footprint,” said thyssenkrupp Veerhaven CEO Frank Tazelaar.

“For the uncharted waters of sustainable fuels, however, we took an innovative approach and arranged for specialist design offices to prepare offers for three separate designs. These include reference vessels as well as low-water push boats with Stage V propulsion and dual-fuel/methanol-capable variants.”

After receiving the designs from C-Job Naval Architects and Kooiman Marine Group, thyssenkrupp Veerhaven will evaluate their technological and economic feasibility.

As the oldest ship in the fleet will soon reach the end of its technical service life, the firm is planning to order the first “pusher tug of the future” in the near term, assuming the investment decision is positive.

For thyssenkrupp Veerhaven, the CO2 reduction would contribute to its own Scope 1 emissions and, as a service provider, to the Scope 3 emissions of its partners.

According to the firm, the parent company thyssenkrupp Steel will also benefit from this. In an effort to minimize Scope 3 emissions, the steelmaker is focusing on decarbonizing its entire supply chain.