Svitzer switches 10 tugs from diesel to biofuel
Svitzer, the world’s leading global tug operator, will provide environmentally-friendly towage operations on the Thames. To this end, it will convert 10 boats from powering by marine fuel oil to biofuel. The innovative type of fuel will reduce carbon footprint by around 90 per cent.
After successful tests of biofuel-powered tugs in the Medway, Svitzer decided to introduce this type of boat for regular operations on the Thames. By January 2022, it will convert 10 ships to provide the Ecotow service, which allows cutting off CO2 emissions by 90 per cent. The move confirms the operational viability as well as the commercial and environmental value of using biofuel in the towage sector.
Instead of marine fuel oil, Svitzer will fill its tugs with Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) biofuel. This solution is the company’s first step towards carbon-neutral towage operations. The Ecotow solution suggests the usage of only sustainable second-generation biofuels. These fuels are produced using waste material such as used cooking oil as feedstocks. “The transition to wider adoption of alternative fuels in towage will ultimately happen faster if customers are accepting of the technology and understand the cost/benefit balance, so we remain committed to testing solutions that will work for them,” said Sven Lumber, head of Ecotow at Svitzer.