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First Zero-emission Electric Pusher Tug & Barge Enters Service for Cargill

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 9, 2023

(Photo: Kotug)

(Photo: Kotug)

Cargill will charter the world’s first fully electric pusher boat and barges to transport cocoa beans in the Netherlands.

The company will use Kotug International’s zero emission E-Pusher and E-Barges to transport cocoa beans from the Port of Amsterdam, the largest cocoa import port in the world, to its cocoa factory in Zaandam. The fully electrified pusher and barges eliminate both emissions and noise pollution for inland shipping.

The E-Pusher 1 was christened this week, marking the official start of the operations with the vessel for Cargill, whereby Kotug will operate the zero-emission E-Pusher and E-barges.

The zero-emission vessel, equipped with state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge propulsion systems, eliminates harmful emissions, including carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter (PM). The fully electric pusher boats and barges are expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 190,000 kg per year, the equivalent of 15,000 single trips of the same distance by truck. The boats will run on green energy from the wind farm that Cargill and Vattenfall operate in partnership with Windpark Hanze.

“Cargill is committed to nourishing the world in a safe, responsible, and sustainable way. Electrifying the transportation of our cocoa beans is just one example of how we are implementing new, innovative sustainable practices to reduce our impact on the planet and protect people. The KOTUG E-pusher Type M is the first-of-its-kind and Cargill is excited to be a partner in launching it in the Netherlands,” said Emiel van Dijk, Managing Director Cocoa & Chocolate Europe & West Africa.

Ard-Jan Kooren, President & CEO of KOTUG International, said, “I would like to express our gratitude to Cargill for their partnership and unwavering support in this transformative endeavor. Together, we are making history and reshaping the future of maritime transportation. This ground-breaking achievement aligns with our mission to provide sustainable solutions to the maritime industry. By introducing the world's first zero emission vessel of this set-up, we aim to inspire other shipping companies, governments, and stakeholders to embrace clean energy solutions and make significant strides towards achieving the global climate goals for the next generation.”


The E-Pusher type M is part of the KOTUG E-Pusher Series, a range of modular and scalable electrically powered pusher tugs for inland waterway transport. The range comprises four models: the E-Pusher CityBarge, the E-Pusher S, M and L. With this series, Kotug offers a sustainable solution for transport over water for short, medium and long distances.

Combining modular construction with the globally patented design of the zero-emission E-Pusher is an entirely new approach to shipbuilding. The basis consists of a PE hull construction with a steel/aluminum frame and electric propulsion. The design of the E-Pusher offers the unique ability to switch between containerized energy sources ranging from hydrogen to batteries and everything in between. With the E-Pusher, Kotug supports companies working on a sustainable supply chain.

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