Seabulk Welcomes Its First Hybrid Diesel Electric Tug to Towing Fleet

hybrid diesel electric tug
Spartan is Seabulk's first hybrid diesel electric tug

Published Jun 8, 2022 4:29 PM by Seabulk

On June 10, 2022, Seabulk will christen the Spartan, the first of two, state-of-the-art hybrid diesel electric Azimuth Stern Drive tugs. Her sister vessel the Titan is due to be delivered later this year. 

Not only are these Seabulk’s first hybrid powered towing assets, but they are “the most efficient and technologically advanced” of those currently in operation nationwide, according to shipbuilder Garrett Rice, president of Master Boat Builders. 

Operating on the Sabine-Neches Waterway, these tugs will be the Waterway’s first hybrid towing assets providing eco-friendly vessel assist services to hundreds of ships each year. 


Spartan joins the Seabulk fleet


“This marks an exciting achievement for Seabulk as we continue to take progressive measures to reduce the carbon footprint of our operations and that of our customers,” says Daniel Thorogood, president of Seabulk. Built to the most modern and technologically advanced standards, the Spartan and Titan feature exceptional power capabilities and sophisticated maneuverability and control enabling our teams to continue to support the high-powered needs of our customer base and deliver enhanced fuel efficiency.”

Designed to the same specifications, these vessels are 98 feet long, with a 43-foot beam, and capable of approximately 90 tons of bollard pull. The diesel electric and direct diesel drive systems include three diesel generators, two EPA Tier 4 certified engines, and two Berg Z-drive thrusters. This arrangement enables the selection of the most energy efficient mode of operation for transit, escort, vessel assist, or other planned maneuver. The tugs are also configured for the future addition of batteries for storing energy for use in diesel electric propulsion. 

“The Spartan, and her sister upon delivery, are welcome additions to Seabulk’s fleet operating in Port Arthur,” says Larry Kelley, port director and chief executive officer of the Port of Port Arthur. The unique diesel electric propulsion system and battery-capable design offers an enhanced, differentiated service to the Port’s many partners for whom sustainability initiatives are increasingly critical.”  

This latest sustainability-driven technology investment builds upon Seabulk’s continued participation in a domestic carbon offset program through which it has displaced 52,000 metric tons of CO2 from roughly 40,000 harbor towing assists performed since 2020. The company has committed to neutralize an additional 25,000 metric tons for work performed in 2022 across the Sabine District, Lake Charles, Mobile, Tampa, Port Manatee, Miami, Port Everglades, and Port Canaveral. 


(Click on the picture to take an interactive virtual tour of the Spartan.)

This article is sponsored by Seabulk. For more information, please visit https://seabulkgroup.com

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.