In a world first, the Port of Antwerp has ordered the construction of a tug which will be powered by hydrogen.
The port says the new ‘Hydrotug’ will be driven by combustion engines burning hydrogen in combination with diesel.
The motors will also comply with the very strictest standard – EU Stage V – making them the lowest-rated for emissions on the market.
The ultra-low-emission tug will be built by Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB), a pioneer in the field of hydrogen power for shipping.
“This initiative is an important step in the transition to a sustainable, CO2-neutral port, and we hope the entire shipping industry will follow our example,” said a Port of Antwerp spokesperson.
“We are systematically pursuing a policy of making our entire fleet eco-friendly by incorporating the most environment-friendly technologies available on the market."
Combustion of hydrogen does not emit any CO2, and the vessel's particle filter combined with a catalyser will result in minimal emissions of NOx and particulates.
Construction on the Hydrotug is due to begin shortly with the vessel scheduled to become operational in two years time.
“As an industrial seaport, Antwerp's role in the energy transition should not be underestimated," says Port of Antwerp CEO Jacques Vandermeiren.
"We are working towards becoming a CO2-neutral port, and together with our partners we are preparing for the future in a constant search for innovative applications and opportunities.
"With this world first we aim to further prepare the way for alternative fuels such as hydrogen in order to realise the transition to alternative, renewable sources of energy."