crowley zero-emission electric tug

Illustration credit Crowley Maritime Corporation

ABB to Supply Propulsion Package for Crowley’s First Electric Tug

Mike Schuler
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July 29, 2021

ABB has been selected to provide the propulsion system for Crowley’s first electric tug currently under development.

The tug, which Crowley calls eWolf in homage to its first tug, will be constructed at Alabama-based shipbuilder Master Boat Builders with delivery planned for mid-2023. Upon delivery, the the vessel will provide ship assist and escort services at the Port of San Diego, becoming the first all-electric, battery-powered harbor tug ever built and operated in the United States and only the third of its kind to enter operations worldwide. 

Under a contract with MBB, ABB will supply the end-to-end electric propulsion system for emissions-free operations. The package will include a six-megawatt-hour energy storage system (ESS) for 70 short-tons of bollard pull. The battery allows the tug to complete a full day of typical work before there is a need to recharge. 

According to ABB, the all-electric tug will have potential to eliminate the equivalent of over 100 cars worth of CO2 pollution per year and lower operational costs compared to conventionally powered tugs of similar size.

“The eWolf’s innovative propulsion system and advanced control technology will provide a sustainable ship assist solution with increased safety and capabilities,” said Crowley’s Porter Sesnon, director, business development for ship assist and offshore services. “Crowley looks forward to working with ABB and Master Boat Builders to deliver this groundbreaking ship assist tug and to provide customers in San Diego with a zero-emission, high-performing vessel.”

In addition to systems integration, engineering and automation on the newbuilding, ABB will also supply its Onboard DC Grid™ power distribution system platform, enabling zero-emissions operations by using renewables as an energy source.

“At ABB, we are pioneering the adoption of electric, digital and connected technologies for greater sustainability in the Americas and globally, as well as helping shipowners deploy the automated systems that advance maritime safety,” said David Lee, Senior Account Manager – Commercial Vessels, ABB Marine & Ports.  “It is an honor to have been selected by Crowley – a company renowned for reliability in service provision, whose goals on the environment and safety align so closely with our own.”

The tug will also feature ABB’s Ability™ Marine Pilot Vision situational awareness solution and Ability™ Marine Control, which will enable maneuvering support and future remote operations. The full scope of supply also includes propulsion motors, low-voltage switchboards, transformers, li-ion batteries, mechanical L-drive thrusters and the ABB Ability™ Remote Diagnostics System for Marine for continuous equipment monitoring and predictive maintenance.

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