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Tuesday, April 20, 2021 

US shipowner Crowley Maritime has announced that its Crowley Engineering Services subsidiary has completed the design of the first fully electric US tug, prepared for autonomous technology, which the company says provides operators with a sustainable and high-performance solution for ship assist and harbour service duties.

The Crowley design was prepared by the expertise of recently integrated company Jensen Maritime, and employs a large electric battery system and power saving technology to operate in a fully electric mode while producing zero air emissions or greenhouse gases. The 25m long tug will provide 70t bollard pull, featuring an azimuthing drive propulsion system with two 1,800 kW motors and a 6MWh battery.

The design supports fully customisable features to meet future vessel requirements. The platform design can be adjusted for alternate power capacities suitable for a standard hybrid framework if desired. The fully modular batteries allow for upgrades as electric technology changes. In addition, Crowley has developed an onshore charging station to fully support charging and reliable performance at the home port.

The tug is designed to ABS Class and compliant with US Coast Guard Sub-Chapter M regulations.

Ray Martus, VP Crowley Engineering Services, said: “Crowley’s design provides operators the tugboat solution to continue serving ships quickly and powerfully, while reducing their environmental impact by eliminating a carbon footprint. This new design sets the standard for innovation by showing that sustainability and power can work together seamlessly in our maritime industries.”

With no exhaust stack, the tug has 360 degrees of visibility from the wheelhouse, allowing the operator to see without obstruction. The electric tug has been designed for future autonomous operation to increase the safety and efficiency of the operation including integrated automation and control systems. The intelligent manoeuvring and control system offers efficient vessel operations and allows masters to focus on the overall control and positioning of the vessel in increasingly busy harbours.

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