NYK Launches Battery, Diesel Hybrid Tugboat

Thursday March 28, 2013

Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) says it has launched a tugboat featuring a hybrid propulsion system capable of running on diesel engines or using high-performance rechargeable batteries.

The tugboat, named Tsubasa, is equipped with a motor generator, and its batteries can be charged either onboard or with a connection to a land-based electrical source.

The boat is expected to emit 20 percent fewer carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in port than its conventional counterparts.

Tsubasa has been used in towing operations since March 15, mainly at the ports of Yokohama and Kawasaki, and its entry into service was officially marked by a ceremony held by NYK Group tugboat operations subsidiary Wing Maritime Service Corporation.

NYK Group announced last April that it was working with Niigata Power Systems to construct the tugboat, the first of its kind in Japan, and said at the time that the vessel will directly contribute to environmental-conservation measures for areas in which many people reside.