VESSEL REVIEW | E-Pusher 1 – Kotug’s new electric tug deployed for inland cargo transport

VESSEL REVIEW | E-Pusher 1 – Kotug’s new electric tug deployed for inland cargo transport

Photo: van Bommel

Netherlands-based towage company Kotug International recently commenced operational sailings of a new inland pusher tug.

Designed in-house by Kotug as the first unit in a series, E-Pusher 1 will be used to push barges transporting imported cocoa beans from the Port of Amsterdam to the cocoa factory operated by Cargill in Zaandam. Ard-Jan Kooren, President and CEO of KOTUG International, said the new pusher tug series can support a broad range of industries.

The fully electric vessel will run on energy supplied by the wind farm that Cargill and Vattenfall operate in partnership with Windpark Hanze. Kotug said the vessel’s operations will help reduce noise and emissions of CO2, NOx, SOx, and particulate matter.

Photo: Kotug International

E-Pusher 1 has an LOA of 16 metres, a beam of 7.6 metres, and a draught of only one metre, or 30 per cent less than the draught of a conventional pusher tug design. Kotug said the vessel itself is of modular build with a hull made from a PE assembly with a steel/aluminium frame. This allows construction time to be reduced by nearly half compared to a conventional pusher tug.

Swappable battery containers provided by Shift Clean Energy (SCE) will supply propulsive power to enable the vessel to cruise at just over six knots. The use of such batteries also eliminates the need for charging infrastructure on board the tug and at the ports along its route. SCE said this approach will also deliver close to 100 per cent uptime as well as help reduce maintenance requirements.

Although initially operating on batteries, the design of the tug offers the ability to switch to other energy sources such as hydrogen and conventional marine fuels if necessary.

Kotug will operate the tug with the aid of a proprietary despatching, routing, and reporting system. The automated system is based on historical and real-time information bridging port and terminal information with ship operations. The tool will help in optimising expected departure and arrival times, routing, and speed control, leading to reduced energy usage and just-in-time departure and arrival.

E-Pusher 1 has already begun sailing on the Amsterdam-Zaandam route along with four barges.

Photo: Rodenburg

Click here for more news and gear stories, feature articles, and vessel reviews as part of this month’s focus on the tug and salvage sector.

E-Pusher 1
Type of vessel: Inland tug
Flag: Netherlands
Owner: Kotug International, Netherlands
Designer: Kotug International, Netherlands
Hull construction material: PE; steel; aluminium
Length overall: 16 metres
Beam: 7.6 metres
Draught: 1.0 metre
Cruising speed: 6.0 knots
Batteries: Shift Clean Energy
Operational area: Amsterdam, Netherlands

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