World’s First Rechargeable And Fully Electric Tugboat Reaches Operational Milestone

Reaching beyond the one-year operational milestone of their zero-emissions tugboat, NAVTEK Naval Technologies, a leading designer of battery-powered tugboats, has proven the design and operational performance of their ZEETUG, Gisas Power, with consistent results over the past 18 months.

NAVTEK developed, designed, built and delivered ZEETUG (zero-emission electric tugboat), the world’s first rechargeable and fully electric-powered tugboat in early 2020 for Gisas Shipbuilding Industry, a major Pilotage and Towage company in İstanbul. More than 18 months later the company is celebrating the stellar performance of its pioneering technology with unrivalled results.

After delivering the first ZEETUG (32T BP) last year, NAVTEK signed three more tugboat orders with Gisas Shipbuilding Industry for a further two sister vessels (ZEETUG30) and one 45T BP ZEETUG due for delivery at the end of 2021.

NAVTEK Proves First Zero-Emissions Tugboat Performance
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Making waves

The revolutionary ZEETUG series of fully electric-powered tugboat designs are already making waves with the success of Gisas Power generating interest from stakeholders who are keen to reduce emissions in harbour towage. The industry has witnessed the effective operation of the first ZEETUG powerfully manoeuvring ships in Tuzla Bay, one of the largest regions for the shipbuilding and ship repair industries in Turkey, the Middle East, and Europe, welcoming dozens of vessels every day. The electric tugboat has been running smoothly for more than a year now and continues to prove its operational efficiency.

Pulling ahead with hydrogen

ZEETUG represents the new generation of green technology with its rechargeable battery and all-electric zero-emission motor as well as low levels of noise and vibration. The innovative design allows the vessels to operate powerfully with higher efficiency and without harming the environment.
“The steel cutting ceremonies for the latest ZEETUG projects were held recently and our R&D department is now working on charging while free spinning and extending our ZEE-Technology with alternative green fuels such as hydrogen. We are currently in negotiations with a major worldwide tug operator regarding the development of electric and hydrogen-powered tugs together,” says NAVTEK Naval Technologies General Manager Ferhat Acuner.

With the aid of the modular system, ZEETUGs can be custom built from 5T BP up to 80T BP. They are smart power-efficient harbour tugboats, capable of managing their energy to reach longer distances. NAVTEK has also developed a smart tug energy-management system for these all-electric tugs and quick-charging stations for the ports they operate in.

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Smarter choices

Lithium-ion battery packs are used to power the ZEETUGs, manufactured by NAVTEK’s solution partner and green craft tech specialist CORVUS ENERGY. With powerful electrically charged battery packs and quick-charge stations (QCS) capable of fully charging a ZEETUG within one hour, the tugs can successfully fulfil daily heavy-duty day and night time operations.

NAVTEK claims that this technology can also be adapted to any existing short distance watercraft such as ferries, coastal fishing boats, leisure boats, workboats and water taxis.

The ZEETUG avoids around 9 tonnes of NOx and 210 tonnes of Co2 per year, compared to similar tugs with diesel engines.Ms. Cansu Tuncer, Business Development Manager for NAVTEK Naval Technologies says “the profile of an electric tug is completely different to that of a tug fuelled by diesel. According to our studies, refitting a diesel tug to zero-emissions or hybrid propulsion is almost the same cost as buying a new electric tug. We are therefore encouraging owners and operators to start by building or buying fully electric-powered tugs now to secure the future of low-carbon propulsion in harbours and terminals.”

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