Hybrid Eco-Tug Delivered to NYK Line

Tsubasa tugboat nyk line
Tsubasa, image: NYK Line

Japan-based NYK Line welcomed a new hybrid tugboat into service at a recent inauguration ceremony at Yokohama Port.

The tugboat Tsubasa will primarily assist vessel movements in and out of the port of Yokohama and Kawasaki.

Equipped with a motor generator and high-performance rechargeable batteries (capable of being charged by the onboard power generator and shore power) alongside conventional diesel engines, the vessel is capable of operating solely on either or both power sources.

The dual design gives the operator flexibility to change energy source in relation to the demands of individual operations. This advantage is particularly relevant for harbour waters that are usually close to urban and residential areas.

NYK has a target of zero emissions by 2050 and to that end have designed the concept ship NYK Super Eco Ship 2030, and openly discloses environmental impact data for the approximately 800 ships it operates, including chartered vessels.

As a result, NYK has been selected by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) as one of only five companies in the FTSE Japan 500 Index to be included in the Carbon Performance Leadership Index (CPLI). In addition, the company was one of 22 companies to be included in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI).

“We seek to reduce environmental loads by efficiently using resources, saving energy, reducing waste, encouraging material recycling, and particularly by minimizing emissions of greenhouse gases, ozone-depleting substances, and toxic matter,” NYK’s group-wide environmental policy states.

“We endeavour to minimize environmental loads and adopt environmentally friendly technologies when ordering and purchasing necessary resources, such as vessels and aircraft, for transportation services and cargo operations.”

The development of the Tsubasa was the result of a team effort. Whilst tugboat operator Wing Maritime Service Corporation (WMS) hosted the ceremony, the vessel itself was built by NYK, Keihin Dock Co. Ltd., both members of the NYK Group.

The hydrid propulsion system developed by Niigata Power Systems and the manufacturing and development process was informed by R&D activities supported by Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) as part of the society’s collaboration with industry.

The inauguration of Tsubasa is symptomatic of a wider effort across the group to adopt a more efficient fleet.

With the aim of emitting 20 percent fewer CO2 emissions in port, the vessel has some impressive promises to keep.

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