Damen and Saverys to Build Four Large Hydrogen Dual-Fuel Tugs

hydrogen tugs
Damen and CMB.TECH will build for large hydrogen fueled tugs (CMB.TECH)

Published May 24, 2024 3:42 PM by The Maritime Executive


Shipbuilder Damen and CMB.TECH are partnering to build some of the first hydrogen-powered tugboats. The project expands Damen’s repertoire after the company added an electric tug also in the ASD class and in keeping with the Saverys' declared strategy to lead the industry to decarbonization alternatives.

The collaboration calls for four tugs built by Damen and using CMB.TECH’s dual-fuel hydrogen technology. It is also the latest step in the companies’ collaboration as CMB.TECH is also working with Damen for the construction of Commissioning Service Operations Vessels that employ the dual-fuel hydrogen generator sets and will be operated for the Saverys’ offshore company Windcat. The company previously introduced the first hydrogen-fueled crew transfer vessel.

“This contract marks another very important step in the development of our hydrogen-powered vessel portfolio,” said Alexander Saverys, CEO of CMB.TECH. “ASD tugs are ideal assets to start the decarbonization of port operations. With our hydrogen tugs, every port in the world will now be able to lower its carbon emissions and create demand for green hydrogen production.”

Alexander Saverys has outlined a vision for the decarbonization of shipping. The family looks for hydrogen to be used on near-shore operations such as tugs, offshore vessels, and transfer crafts. They are developing ammonia-based systems for their ocean-going ships.

Concurrent with the signing of the order with Damen, the companies reported that Lloyds’ Register also awarded an approval in principle (AiP) for the hydrogen solution that will be installed on the tugs. According to LR, the system represents a cost-effective decarbonization solution for tugs.

The dual-fuel hydrogen ASD Tugs 2812 FF-H2 will have 80-tonnes bollard pull, and feature four highspeed dual-fuel hydrogen engines, designed to minimize NOx and CO2 emissions. They will be able to run on traditional fuel if required. They will have modular storage systems for compressed hydrogen, with each tug carrying up to 16 hydrogen bottles, storing a total of 736kg of pressurized hydrogen at 350 bar.

Full details were not provided on the plans, but other ASD tugs are approximately 380 tons and 90 feet (28 meters) in length. They can carry up to 10 crew and operate on traditional fuel at speeds up to 12 knots. The electric version of the class is slightly smaller with a 10-knot speed.

The Port of Antwerp-Bruges pioneered the world’s first hydrogen dual-fuel tug introduced at the end of 2023. Known as Hydrotug 1, it was built in Spain also using technology from CMB.TECH.

Hydrotug 1 has a smaller hydrogen storage capacity but was reported to have capabilities for 24 hours of operation. The new design increases the hydrogen storage capacity by 75 percent as CMB.TECH looks to move hydrogen into the mainstream of operations.