Boats & Barges

Crowley To Build And Operate Fully Electric Tug

Crowley Maritime Corporation has announced plans to build and operate a zero-emissions ship assist and escort tug called the eWolf. The all-electric harbor tug, the first in the United States, will be based in the Port of San Diego.

“The eWolf represents everything Crowley stands for: innovation, sustainability and performance,” said Tom Crowley, the company’s chairman and CEO. “With this groundbreaking tug design, our team continues to embrace our role as leaders in the maritime industry while providing our customers with innovative and sustainable solutions done right.”

Designed by Jensen Maritime, the eWolf will be built by Master Boat Builders in Coden, Ala., with on-site construction management by Crowley Engineering Services. Cochran Marine is designing the shoreside charging station for the eWolf’s battery system.

The eWolf will have a molded length of 82 feet, a 40-foot beam, a depth of 17 feet, 9 inches and a design draft of 16.5 feet. Estimated bollard pull for the vessel will be 70 short tons.

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ABB is supplying the vessel’s main propulsion battery, Schottel azimuthing thrusters, electric motors, switchboards and intelligent maneuvering and autonomous operations systems.

The tugboat will have tankage for 750 gallons of potable water and 9,800 gallons of fuel. According to Crowley, the eWolf will be equipped with a pair of 300 kW generators for long hauls and emergency power. The eWolf will have accommodations for four crew members.

According to Crowley, over the vessel’s first 10 years on the job, the eWolf will reduce the emission of 178 tons of nitrogen oxide, 2.5 tons of diesel particulate matter and 3,100 metric tons of carbon dioxide compared with that of a conventional tug. The eWolf will replace a tug that currently consumes more than 30,000 gallons of diesel per year.

Crowley expects to put the eWolf into service by mid-2023.

“Crowley’s first-of-its-kind electric tugboat is a game changer,” said Michael Zucchet, chairman of the board of commissioners of the Port of San Diego. “It checks all the boxes by providing environmental, economic and operational benefits for our communities and maritime industry. We are proud to work with Crowley and couldn’t be more pleased the eWolf will operate exclusively on San Diego Bay.”

With the elimination of exhaust stacks, the eWolf will also offer unsurpassed visibility for pilots.

“Our dedicated shipbuilding employees are proud to be working with Crowley to lead innovation with the construction of this first-of-its-kind tugboat,” Master Boat Builders President Garrett Rice said. “This vessel will set a standard in the U.S. maritime industry for sustainability and performance, and its zero-emissions capability and autonomous technology will benefit the environment and the safety of mariners and vessels.”

According to Crowley, the eWolf will have a battery capacity sufficient to complete two ship assist jobs with minimal to no charging required. In addition, the vessel’s modular battery will offer easy maintenance and allow for it to be upgraded in response to technological advancements.