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Crowley to Build and Operate Fully Electric Tugboat

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

July 12, 2021

(Image: Crowley)

(Image: Crowley)

Crowley Maritime Corporation on Monday announced plans to build and operate an all-electric powered harbor tugboat capable of completing a job without expending a drop of fuel—a first in the U.S.

The 82-foot-long vessel, dubbed eWolf, will be operational at the Port of San Diego’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal by mid-2023 and comes as Crowley and the maritime industry continue to make strides toward sustainability and decarbonization. Over the first 10 years of its use, the operation of the new e-tug will reduce 178 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx), 2.5 tons of diesel particulate matter, and 3,100 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) versus a conventional tug, according to Crowley, adding that the electric tug will replace one that consumes more than 30,000 gallons of diesel per year.

“The eWolf represents everything Crowley stands for: innovation, sustainability and performance. With this groundbreaking tug design, our team continues to embrace our role as leaders in the maritime industry while providing our customers with innovative and sustainable solutions done right,” said company chairman and CEO Tom Crowley.

The vessel will be built by Master Boat Builders in Coden, Ala., utilizing the design and onsite construction management by Crowley Engineering Services and its recently integrated Jensen Maritime naval architecture and marine engineering group. The tug is designed to ABS Class and compliant with U.S. Coast Guard Sub-Chapter M regulations.

Boasting 70 tons of bollard pull, the eWolf will feature a design that allows the vessel to operate fully electric with full performance capabilities—and zero carbon emissions. The vessel’s battery system will be charged at a specially designed, shoreside station developed with Cochran Marine. 

The design, first introduced by Crowley in April, also includes an intelligent maneuvering and control system that will enable future autonomous operations. The tug will feature a fully integrated electrical package provided by ABB. With 360-degree visibility, the eTug will also feature ABB’s artificial intelligence technology (AI) to increase safety and efficiency.

Garrett Rice, president of Master Boat Builders, said, “This vessel will set a standard in the U.S. maritime industry for sustainability and performance, and its zero-emissions capability and autonomous technology will benefit the environment and the safety of mariners and vessels.”

Michael Zucchet, chairman of the Port of San Diego board of port commissioners, said, “Crowley’s first-of-its-kind electric tugboat is a game changer. It checks all the boxes by providing environmental, economic and operational benefits for our communities and maritime industry.”

The tug will be a result of a partnership among Crowley, the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District, the California Air Resources Board, the Port of San Diego, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Maritime Administration, which all provided financial support and other resources.