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Svitzer and Caterpillar Partner to Put Dual Fuel Methanol Engines in Tugs

Mike Schuler
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April 18, 2023

Caterpillar Marine and Svitzer, a global towage operator and unit of AP Moller – Maersk, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support Svitzer’s decarbonization strategy by adopting methanol as a fuel in newbuilds and the conversion of existing tugs.

The agreement focuses on the implementation of dual-fuel methanol engines, which will enable Svitzer to utilize methanol in its fleet, including its existing Cat-powered tugs. The MOU follows the recent announcement of Cat 3500-E series methanol-readiness in September 2022, formalizing the collaboration to deploy engine technologies that can reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions.

Svitzer has a significant number of tugs powered by Cat systems and has set ambitious decarbonization targets for its future fleet. The company aims to achieve a 50% reduction in the CO2 intensity of its entire fleet by 2030 and become CO2 neutral across all scopes by 2040.

The companies called the collaboration an important step towards implementing solutions that support Svitzer’s decarbonization strategy.

The MOU focuses on finding solutions for both existing and future vessels that can support reductions in carbon intensity in the maritime industry. Fuel flexibility is a key factor in enabling operators to lower their carbon intensity, and the agreement will provide conversion solutions for Svitzer’s existing fleet.

“The focus of our collaboration is two-fold. We are supporting Svitzer to enable tugs to operate on methanol with diesel-like performance while providing fuel flexibility which is key to enabling operators to lower their carbon intensity via green methanol as availability increases. Additionally, we’re taking full advantage of the learnings to provide conversion solutions for the existing fleet. This is a critical aspect to reach the level of methanol adoption that Svitzer seeks to fulfill their goals,” said Andres Perez, global tug segment manager, Caterpillar Marine.

Svitzer is making pragmatic decisions to support reductions in carbon intensity in the maritime industry, and the collaboration between Caterpillar and Svitzer is an important step towards implementing solutions that support their decarbonization strategy.

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