ABB to power Japan’s first electric tugboat for efficient and sustainable operations

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June 30, 2022
  • ABB contracted by IHI Power Systems Co.,Ltd. develops electric tug for the ports of Tokyo Bay for Japanese towage specialist Tokyo Kisen Co. Ltd
  • The newbuild tug will feature ABB’s award-winning power system platform Onboard DC Grid™, which enables simple, flexible and functional integration of energy sources and loads
  • The first vessel of its kind to operate in Japan, the Taiga supports net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emission goals without compromising performance

The electric tugboat Taiga is the result of a collaboration between Tokyo Kisen Co., Ltd. and e5 Lab Inc., a Japanese consortium with the purpose of planning and developing fully electric vessels.

Constructed at the Kanagawa Dockyard Co., Ltd. at Kobe, the tug is due for delivery by end of December 2022, becoming the first vessel of its kind to operate in Japanese waters. It is equipped with ABB’s Onboard DC Grid™, complete with a high battery capacity. Designed to enable zero-emission operations in harborside environments, the tug delivers superior performance while supporting Japan’s ambition of achieving net-zero GHG emissions from international shipping by 2050.

Tokyo Kisen’s harbor tug will be used to maneuver other vessels by pushing or towing them with 2.5-megawatt-hour battery systems supplied and integrated by ABB, reducing greenhouse gas emissions on a day-to-day basis, and acting as spinning reserve back-up power to prevent prolonged outages. The tug’s future-proof configuration also enables it to achieve emission-free operations by integrating alternative energy sources as technologies mature.

“ABB is honored to be involved in such a prominent project to power the first electric tugboat for Japan,” said Munekazu Tanikawa, Local Division Manager, ABB Marine & Ports. “Our hybrid and electric solutions have established a strong reputation in the short-distance shipping segment, now further strengthened by this prestigious opportunity in a highly competitive market.”

In addition to the energy storage solution, ABB supplies the tug with its award-winning power system platform Onboard DC Grid™, which enables simple, flexible, and functional integration of energy sources and loads. Leveraging Onboard DC Grid™, the tug’s engines will be able to run at variable speeds for optimized energy economy at each load level. This helps cut fuel consumption, reducing the environmental impact as a result. The batteries will be able to provide power to the tug’s propulsion system almost instantaneously, where ABB’s Power and Energy Management System (PEMS™) will control the overall power distribution, increase fault tolerance and provide a high degree of reliability.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries.

ABB’s Process Automation business is a leader in automation, electrification and digitalization for the process and hybrid industries. We serve our customers with a broad portfolio of products, systems, and end-to-end solutions, including our # 1 distributed control system, software, and lifecycle services, industry-specific products as well as measurement and analytics, marine and turbocharging offerings. As the global #2 in the market, we build on our deep domain expertise, diverse team and global footprint, and are dedicated to helping our customers increase competitiveness, improve their return on investment and run safe, smart, and sustainable operations..go.abb/processautomation

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