Crowley to build and operate first fully electric US tugboat

Crowley Maritime Corporation plans to build and operate the first all-electric-powered harbour tugboat through a partnership with the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District, the California Air Resources Board, the Port of San Diego, the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Maritime Administration. All partners are providing financial support and other resources to the development of the new eWolf.

Over the first 10 years of its use, the 82-foot vessel with 70 tons of bollard pull is expected to reduce 178 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx), 2.5 tons of diesel particulate matter, and 3,100 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) versus a conventional tug.

The electric tug will replace one at the Port of San Diego’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal that consumes more than 30,000 gallons of diesel a year.

The eTug will be built by Master Boat Builders in Coden, Ala., utilizing the design and on-site construction management by Crowley Engineering Services and its recently integrated Jensen Maritime naval architecture and marine engineering group. It will feature a fully integrated electrical package and AI technology provided by ABB. Its battery system will be charged at a specially designed shoreside station developed with Cochran Marine.

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

The eTug will be operational by mid-2023.

Kim Biggar

Kim Biggar started writing in the supply chain sector in 2000, when she joined the Canadian Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Management. In 2004/2005, she was project manager for the Government of Canada-funded Canadian Logistics Skills Committee, which led to her 13-year role as communications manager of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. A longtime freelance writer, Kim has contributed to publications including The Forwarder, 3PL Americas, The Shipper Advocate and Supply Chain Canada.
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