Two NYK Group Companies to Build Japan's First Hybrid-Powered Tugboat

Two NYK Group companies — tugboat operator Wing Maritime Service Corporation (WMS) and tugboat builder Keihin Dock Co. Ltd. — have teamed with Niigata Power Systems to construct an environment-friendly tugboat. The new tugboat will feature the hybrid propulsion system that Niigata Power Systems has developed and manufactures, and will be the first tugboat in Japan propelled by such a system.

This environment-friendly tugboat is being developed and manufactured with support from Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) as part of the society’s joint R&D with industry, and practical research and development needed for this new tugboat will thus be conducted in collaboration with ClassNK.

By adopting a propulsion system that uses electrical motors and high-performance rechargeable batteries in addition to conventional diesel engines, efficient and environment-friendly operation and towing can be realized. Using rechargeable batteries manufactured by the IHI Corporation and capable of being charged not only by the onboard power generator but also power from land, the new tugboat is expected to emit 20 percent fewer CO2 emissions in port.

After being completed in January 2013 at Keihin Dock’s Oppama Shipyard, the new tugboat will be used by WMS in towing operations mainly at the port of Yokohama. By cooperating with various tests conducted by Niigata Power Systems for this new tugboat, the NYK Group is able to actively participate in research into the design of this tug, in addition to its order, construction, ownership, and operation.

A reduction in the environmental effects of tugboats, which help large vessels get into and out of ports, often in areas adjacent to urban areas, will directly contribute to environmental-conservation measures for areas in which many people reside.

NYK continually strives through groupwide efforts to involve itself in measures that reduce the environmental impact caused by port facilities and operated vessels.

Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, April 25, 2012

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Posted on April 25, 2012

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