The world’s first zero-emission, rechargeable and fully electric battery-powered tugboat, Zeetug30, was launched by Turkey’s Navtek Naval Technologies in 2020 and has now gained a reputation for reliability during more than a year of service at the busy port of Istanbul.
Delivered in March 2020 to the Gisas Shipbuilding Industry, a major pilotage and towage company at Tuzla Bay, Istanbul, Zeetug30 had completed 1,532 operations by the end of 2021, with 1,930 hours of run time.
Navtek has now signed a contract with Gisas for further tugboats: one Zeetug30 and one Zeetug45. Delivery is scheduled for the end of this year.
Zeetug30 was developed by Gisas, who wanted to replace their existing fleet of diesel tugs with vessels that were both smaller and had lower emissions to meet increasingly stringent port regulations and future de-carbonisation of maritime industry.
The tug they developed measures 18.7m by 6.7m. Being a relatively small vessel, the main challenge was the scale of electrical power required to enable the tug to deliver a minimum of 30 tons bollard pull.
To achieve the required power, Zeetug30 is fitted with six battery DC/DC converters, two inverters for each of the propulsion motors, one each for the propulsion and fire-fighting (FI-FI) pump, and two 150 kVA off-grid converters for the tug’s hotel load.
She can be fully charged at the custom-made charge station in less than an hour.
During test runs, Zeetug30 exceeded the target bollard pull of 30 tons with a maximum pull of 32 tons.
She is currently operating daily in the shipyard section in the Port of Istanbul, where space is severely restricted, and so good manoeuvrability is essential.