[Watch] World’s 1st Methanol-electric Towboat To Hit Waters in 2023

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The world’s first methanol-fueled towboat is set to to join the fleet of Metairie, La., based Maritime Partners LLC and become available for charter in 2023 to meet the pressing demand for sustainable towboat operations, reports MarineLog.

IMO 2030 compliant vessel

The vessel, the M/V Hydrogen One, will be IMO 2030 compliant, meet the USCG’s Subchapter M requirements, and have an operational range of 550 miles before refueling. It is being developed by Maritime Partners in cooperation with Elliott Bay Design Group, e1 Marine, and ABB.

Decarbonizing the sector

Decarbonizing the towboat sector poses substantial challenges, particularly due to towboats’ inherent size, space, and weight limitations.

Daily recharge batteries

Batteries are only suitable for boats that operate on fixed routes and can recharge daily, and a towboat’s limited storage capacity restricts the use of pressurized or cryogenically stored gases as fuels.

Dockside facilities

There are also very few dockside facilities to load such marine fuels, which severely constrains a vessel’s range and functionality.

Vessel design

The ship has been designed by Elliott Bay Design Group using proven, efficient technology throughout, from ABB’s electrical power distribution and automation to e1 Marine’s methanol-to-hydrogen fuel cell.

Generates hydrogen from methanol

Methanol is a common towboat cargo, and it is available in 88 of the world’s top 100 ports. This availability enables you to refuel safely almost anywhere without the need for costly diversions.

The M/V Hydrogen One’s use of e1 Marine’s reformer technology generates hydrogen from methanol on-demand, which also makes it considerably safer than transferring and storing hydrogen directly, and the vessel’s crew will require minimal additional training to use the technology.

Commitment to low carbon fuels

“Shipowners have been understandably reluctant to commit to low carbon fuels until the infrastructure is available to refuel their vessels,” said Austin Sperry, co-founder and chief operating officer at Maritime Partners.

“The M/V Hydrogen One solves that problem by using methanol, which is safe and readily available worldwide. When the M/V Hydrogen One joins our fleet of 1,600 vessels, it will not only provide excellent emissions reduction capabilities but highly functional, reliable, and cost-effective operations.”

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Source: MarineLog

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