Foss to Build Hybrid Tug

Friday, March 02, 2007
Foss Maritime Company plans to build the world’s first hybrid tugboat, a green vessel that is designed to reduce nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, sulphur dioxide and carbon emissions. It will also consume less fuel and be quieter than its conventional predecessors. Officials of the Seattle-based marine services company say the project must still gain final board approval. But the decision to move forward with the hybrid tug got a boost earlier this week as the Port of Los Angeles pledged $850,000 to the project, in association with the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners preliminarily approved a $500,000 contribution to the vessel’s construction.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach , the nation’s no. 1 and no. 2 container ports, have expressed interest in funding Foss’ innovative hybrid tug as part of their San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan, a sweeping proposal aimed at significantly reducing the health risks posed by air pollution from port-related ships, trains, trucks, terminal equipment and harbor craft.

In exchange for funding, Foss would agree to homeport the new hybrid tug in Southern California for five years. “Foss is proud to be working with the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles on such an important project as the hybrid tug,” said Gary C. Faber, president and COO of Foss. “This is just the latest example of how Foss sits at the leading edge of maritime technology, engineering and shipbuilding. As a company, we’re committed to maintaining our natural environment. Foss anticipates there will be a growing market for our ‘green’ tugs in the years to come.”

The Foss hybrid tug is scheduled to go into production later this year and will be delivered to Foss’ Southern California operations in 2008. It is a new-build project, a continuation of the Dolphin-class tug boat series built at Foss’ Rainier, Oregon shipyard. The Foss hybrid tug will look almost identical to its sister Dolphin-class tug boats, but will be quieter, cleaner and more fuel efficient, using proven hybrid technology. The hybrid tug’s drive units will be powered by batteries coupled with diesel generators and feature a modified engine room accommodating two 670 hp battery packs and two 335 hp generators. Although the main engines in the hybrid tug will have lower horsepower than the existing Dolphin engines, overall the tug will have the same total horsepower as its sister tugs.

The 5,000 hp Foss hybrid tug will be primarily used for harbor assist services—moving vessels such as tankers and container ships in and out of the harbor and into their berths.

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