Picture of the Hydrotug 1 during sea trial in the North Sea. Credit: CMB.TECH.

News release: Belgium Port Authority Unveils World’s First Hydrogen-Powered Tugboat

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Port of Antwerp-Bruges and CMB.TECH announce today a world first: the Hydrotug 1, the first hydrogen-powered tugboat, is ready for operation in the Antwerp port area. This ground-breaking development will play a crucial role in Port of Antwerp-Bruges’ efforts to green its fleet and to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. With the Hydrotug 1, CMB.TECH reaffirms its international leadership role in the transition to environmentally friendly fuel-powered ships.

The Hydrotug 1 is the first tugboat in the world to be powered by combustion engines that burn hydrogen in combination with traditional fuel. It is the first vessel that uses the BeHydro V12 dual fuel medium speed engines – each providing 2 megawatts – with the latest EU Stage V emissions aftertreatment. With these engines, the vessel uses clean fuels, resulting in an overall reduction of 65% of traditional fuel consumption and associated emissions in the tugboat’s overall cycle. The Hydrotug 1 can store 415kg of compressed hydrogen in 6 stillages installed on deck and eliminates the emission’s equivalent of 350 cars per year.

Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp-Bruges: “Hydrogen is one of the keys to an economy and society with minimal climate impact. As such, it is one of the raw materials, energy sources and fuels of the future. Port of Antwerp-Bruges wants to fully exploit its potential and is committed to being an active pioneer in the hydrogen economy on a European scale. With the Hydrotug 1, the world’s first hydrogen-powered tugboat, we want to be a source of inspiration as well as an example for other ports.”

Alexander Saverys, CEO CMB.TECH: “The Hydrotug 1 is the world’s largest hydrogen-powered vessel and it is “made in Europe”! We are delighted and grateful to have the Port of Antwerp-Bruges as our partner. Port of Antwerp-Bruges shares the same commitment as CMB.TECH to decarbonizing shipping and showcasing technology that can be scaled. The Hydrotug 1 is another big step towards zero-carbon shipping and proves that there is a vibrant energy transition industry in Antwerp, Belgium and Europe.”

Annick De Ridder, Vice Mayor for the port, urban development, spatial planning and patrimony of the City of Antwerp, President of the Board of the Port of Antwerp-Bruges: “Port of Antwerp-Bruges nurtures the ambition to become the energy gateway of Europe as a ‘green port’ and as pioneers. Hydrogen plays an important role in this ambition. This is precisely why the launch of the Hydrotug 1 is a significant moment. The Hydrotug 1 can run on both hydrogen and traditional fuel, beautifully demonstrating the potential of the transition to clean energy in the shipping industry.”

Hydrotug 1 specifications

  • Dimensions: Beam: 12.5m, Length overall: 30m, moulded depth: 5m, depth of the propellors: 5.9m
  • Total of 415 kg of compressed hydrogen stored in 54 x individual Type 3 cylinders installed in 6 x stillages on deck
  • 2 x 2MW V12 dual fuel BeHydro engines with EU Stage V compliant after treatment ​ (SCR and particulate filter)
  • 65 ton bollard pull
  • Classification by Lloyd’s Register
  • Double hull
  • Volvo Penta D8 MG Stage V for auxiliaries


CMB.TECH is a shipping and cleantech company that develops, builds, owns and operates large marine and industrial applications that can run on hydrogen or ammonia. CMB.TECH also offers hydrogen and ammonia fuel to its customers, either through own production or third party producers. Visit our website and follow us on LinkedIn.

About BeHydro

BeHydro is a joint venture between ABC and CMB.TECH. This joint venture combines the skills of a multi-fuel engine manufacturer with the insights of a cleantech company that builds, owns, operates and designs applications that run on hydrogen and ammonia. Many industries such as shipping, railways and power generation need technologies to make the energy transition happen. BeHydro has set itself the goal of providing the solution for these demanding industries. www.behydro.be

IMAGE (above): Picture of the Hydrotug 1 during sea trial in the North Sea. Credit: CMB.TECH.

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