Svitzer’s tugs will run on biofuel in the future (Source: Svitzer)

Svitzer to convert London tug fleet to biofuel

Tug owner and operator, Svitzer, is to convert its ten-vessel fleet of tugs, based in London and the Medway, to run on marine biofuel. The towage group will offer a new service option to customers – Ecotow – achieving a carbon reduction of about 90%. Svitzer’s five tugs operating at the Isle of Grain LNG terminal in the Medway have been operating successfully on the biofuel, hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), since the middle of November. By January, the towage company’s other five London tugs will be using the fuel, the company said.

The move follows the successful completion of what is claimed to be an ‘industry-first biofuel trial’ aboard the 2005-built, 65-tonne bollard pull, Svitzer Intrepid. The tug has been using HVO since September.

The company intends to engage other international customers in the initiative. Lise Demant, Svitzer Europe managing director, explained. “Ecotow enables us to offer our customers an opportunity to reduce their Scope 3 emissions and their environmental footprint, either by procuring towage services delivered by tugs fuelled with biofuel, or by ‘insetting’ carbon emissions from tug jobs elsewhere against savings generated in London and Medway.”

Sven Lumber, head of Ecotow at Svitzer, commented: “It is only sensible that we look to scale up the use of biofuel at the right time in line with helping our customers to navigate their decarbonisation trajectories. 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.”

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Article Editorial staff Ship&Offshore
Article Editorial staff Ship&Offshore