Boats & Barges

Zeeboat, ISS Plan Four Electric, Zero-Emission Towboats

Industrial Service Solutions announced December 21 that it will provide Zeeboat LLC with general contract, project management and vessel support services for the manufacture and delivery of four fully electric towboats to become available for charter in 2025. ISS serves dozens of industries, including the marine industry, with equipment and services support. Zeeboat LLC is an emerging project developer dedicated to decarbonizing maritime transport. The company is initially focused on building and deploying fully electric towboats.

The vessels’ purpose is to support container transit with a zero-emissions towboat solution. These will be the first all-electric towboats built in North America.  Zeeboat and ISS also intend to work together on future decarbonization of ports through electrification, as the towboat charging infrastructure lends itself to expansion. 

The design of the fully electric towboats will be based on The Shearer Group Inc.’s hull design for a 95- by 34-foot towboat. This hull shape was developed by TSGI using advanced fluid dynamic calculations and backup by vessels in service.  The design has been proven to increase water flow to the propeller and increase overall efficiency of the barge/towboat combination by more than 10 percent over more traditional inland towboat designs.

This hull design, when coupled with an azipod drive system, will improve overall transport efficiency by more than 30 percent when compared to conventional towboats. According to ISS, it “represents the highest industry standard for efficient and safe operations for inland river towboats.”

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Energy Storage

Shift Clean Energy will provide battery energy storage systems to support the fully electric towboat operation. ISS is Shift Clean Energy’s sole channel partner for the United States.

Joshua Sebastian, engineering manager of The Shearer Group said, “We at TSGI are excited to participate with this outstanding team in ushering in the new age of towboat and harbor boat operations for the marine industry.”