Port of Antwerp-Bruges – Hydrotug 1: the very first hydrogen-powered tug

The Port of Antwerp-Bruges and CMB.TECH joined forces to create the world’s first hydrogen-powered tug. The Hydrotug 1 sails around Antwerp as from 2024. Hydrotug 1 consists of two innovative dual-fuel BeHydro engines that can run on either hydrogen or traditional fuel. This tug is part of an integrated greening programme for the Port of Antwerp-Bruges fleet and is being deployed as a major step in the transition to a climate-neutral port by 2050. With the Hydrotug 1, CMB.TECH is affirming its international pioneering role in the transition to ships powered by environmentally friendly fuel.

The tug has a length of 30.17 metres, a width of 12.5 metres, a weight of 678.8 tons and a bollard pulling power of 65 tons. It can store 415 kg of compressed hydrogen in 54 gas cylinders installed on the deck and eliminates emissions equivalent to 350 cars.

The Hydrotug brings together a lot of European technology and expertise. The tug itself was built in Spain and made ready for use at IDP Shipyard in Ostend, Belgium. The BeHydro engines are Belgian-made, while the generators are Swedish and the exhaust system is Swiss. The vessel’s wheelhouse, by Alphatron Marine, is a Dutch design. The hydrogen technology on board the tugboat was developed and built by the Antwerp company CMB.TECH. The towing winch and anchor winches come from Brusselle Winches & Steering Gear from Zeebrugge and one of the compressors was supplied by Atlas Copco in Antwerp. And don’t forget: the crew of the Hydrotug 1 comes 100% from Port of Antwerp-Bruges.

Hydrogen plays an important role in the transition to a climate-neutral world. Despite its energy-intensive production, it produces no emissions when burned and can be produced in an entirely green way.