First electric ship-assist tug in the US gets ready for harbor service
Back in 2021, Crowley commissioned the building of the first electric tug to assist ships in a US harbor. Now the company has taken delivery of the eWolf, ahead of operational duty at the Port of San Diego later this year.
Designed by Crowley engineers and constructed by Master Boat Builders at its Alabama shipyard, the four-berth, ABS Class eWolf has a total length of 82 ft (~25 m) and a 40-ft (12-m) beam, features bow and stern electric winches, and has a bollard pull strength of 70 tons. The lack of exhaust stacks gives the pilot 360-degree, obstruction-free views around the vessel.
The build specifications show a 6.2-MWh modular battery system onboard, which can be upgraded as new technologies are developed, and the vessel has been designed to provide two ship-assist jobs in the harbor per charge.
The battery pack provides the juice for an ABB propulsion system comprising two 2,100-kW motors powering a pair of thrusters for a top speed of 12 knots – though the tug does also sport two small diesel generators for emergency use, or to travel farther than battery alone would allow.
The eWolf will enter service at the Port of San Diego later this year, when installation of a shoreside, microgrid charging and storage station has been completed. Crowley expects the eWolf to save some 178 tons of NOx, 2.5 tons of diesel particulates, and 3,100 metric tons of CO2 in its first 10 years of operation, compared to a conventional tug.
"The eWolf will provide services through its advanced vessel control technology and first-in-class energy features, while providing the safety, quality and reliability that Crowley and our mariners are known for," said SVP and general manager at Crowley Shipping, James Fowler. "We are thrilled to reach this important achievement for our company and the US maritime industry through the collaboration with our partners."
Source: Crowley Maritime