Introduce World’s First Methanol-Powered Tugboat – Methatug

The Port of Antwerp-Bruges takes a significant stride towards becoming a climate-neutral port by 2050 with the launch of the Methatug, the world’s first methanol-powered tugboat. This innovative vessel joins the port’s growing fleet of eco-friendly tugs, including the Hydrotug 1 (hydrogen-powered) and energy-efficient RSD tugboats. An electrically-powered tugboat, the first in Europe, is also set to join the fleet later this year.

Pioneering Sustainable Marine Fuels

The Methatug project is part of the FASTWATER project, funded by the European research program Horizon 2020. FASTWATER aims to demonstrate the viability of methanol as a sustainable fuel for the shipping industry. The Methatug uses a converted “dual-fuel” engine system, allowing it to operate on a blend of methanol and traditional fuel.

Key Details of the Methatug

  • Length: 30 meters
  • Traction force: 50 tons
  • Methanol storage capacity: 12,000 liters (enough for two weeks of operation)

Collaboration for Green Shipping Solutions

The Port of Antwerp-Bruges partnered with various FASTWATER consortium members on the Methatug project:

  • ScandiNAOS (Sweden): Ship design agency
  • Anglo Belgian Corporation (Belgium): Engine manufacturer
  • Heinzmann (Germany): Methanol injector supplier
  • Ghent University (Belgium): Emission monitoring program provider
  • Methanex (Canada): Methanol supplier (during trials)

Leading the Way in Green Ports

“Together with our partners, we are at the forefront of developing innovative technologies for the transition to alternative and renewable energy sources,” said Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of Port of Antwerp-Bruges. “The Methatug is a crucial step in our journey towards a greener fleet and achieving climate neutrality by 2050. By undertaking projects like this, we pave the way and inspire other ports to embrace a sustainable future.”


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