A Rotterdam-based tug has been revolutionarily refitted and turned into Europe’s first hybrid tug – aptly named the E-Kotug.

The 32 metre long vessel, which is a member of the Kotug fleet in the Port of Rotterdam, is able to carry out its daily operations with radically reduced emissions and in some cases noiselessly and solely battery-powered.

The vessel, RT Adriaan, has an AKA Canada-built system that can switch propulsion between diesel and electric sources leading to 50% less harmful emissions, improved fuel economy and

CO2 reduction and cleaner combustion. RT Adriaan’s hybrid technology allows its main engines to be shut down while the vessel is in transit. It can rapidly switch from hybrid mode using its electrically powered motors to conventional mode using its diesel engines. For low power operations, E-KOTUG can run on battery power alone.

“Lloyd’s Register was asked by the owner to approve the vessel and to guide the designers through the conversion process which was carried out in only a few weeks to reduce the vessel’s out-of-service time,” said Lloyd’s Register Principal Surveyor, Gerard Vromans.

“We advised the owner how to handle the shaft design as the e-motor is smaller than the main propulsion unit and the steering gear was changed from hydraulic to electrical. The main focus was on the integration side and the owners used LR’s expertise to guide them on this,” said Vromans.

Ard-Jan Kooren, CEO of KOTUG International, said: “Our company is committed to hybrid technology. To be a leader for our community and to be good for the environment is a major challenge for us.”

E-KOTUG has been nominated for a Lloyd’s List Environment Award. Find out if the vessel has notched up another first at the awards ceremony in London on 26 September this year.