Marine Link
Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Methanol-Fueled Tugboat Launched

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

May 14, 2024

  • Image courtesy Kelly Cuyvers / Port of Antwerp-Bruges
  • Image courtesy Kelly Cuyvers / Port of Antwerp-Bruges
  • Image courtesy Kelly Cuyvers / Port of Antwerp-Bruges
  • Image courtesy Kelly Cuyvers / Port of Antwerp-Bruges
  • Image courtesy Kelly Cuyvers / Port of Antwerp-Bruges Image courtesy Kelly Cuyvers / Port of Antwerp-Bruges
  • Image courtesy Kelly Cuyvers / Port of Antwerp-Bruges Image courtesy Kelly Cuyvers / Port of Antwerp-Bruges
  • Image courtesy Kelly Cuyvers / Port of Antwerp-Bruges Image courtesy Kelly Cuyvers / Port of Antwerp-Bruges
  • Image courtesy Kelly Cuyvers / Port of Antwerp-Bruges Image courtesy Kelly Cuyvers / Port of Antwerp-Bruges

Today, a 'world first' was unveiled in the Port of Antwerp-Bruges: the Methatug, a tugboat which runs on methanol, part of a 'greening program' for the port's fleet. 

The project is financed by the European research program Horizon 2020 and is part of the FASTWATER project, which aims to demonstrate the feasibility of methanol as a sustainable fuel for the shipping industry.

The 30-m-long tugboat has a traction force of 50 tons and can store 12,000 liters of methanol, enough for two weeks of tug work.  The Swedish ship design agency ScandiNAOS, the Belgian engine manufacturer Anglo Belgian Corporation, the German company Heinzmann responsible for the methanol injectors, Ghent University for the emission monitoring
programme and the Canadian methanol supplier
Methanex during the trials. 

As the fifth largest bunker port in the world, Port of Antwerp-Bruges also aims to become a full-fledged multi-fuel port, in which seagoing and inland vessels will be able to bunker, not only conventional fuels, but also alternative, low-carbon fuels, such as methanol, hydrogen or electricity. In early April, the first methanol bunkering with the deepsea vessel Ane Maersk took place in Antwerp, a new milestone in terms of this ambition.  

Methatug specifications:

  • 11 meter width, 29.5 meter length
  • Weight of 584 tons
  • 50 ton bollard pull
  • Storage of 12.000 litres of methanol
  • Two ABC 8DAC dual fuel medium-speed engines


Image courtesy Kelly Cuyvers / Port of Antwerp-Bruges





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