Antwerp-Bruges Debuts World’s First Methanol-powered Tug

Wind farm at the port of Antwerp at sunset
Updated Published

The Port of Antwerp-Bruges has unveiled a groundbreaking innovation: the Methatug, a tugboat powered by methanol.

The engines of an existing tugboat were converted into dual fuel engines for this project. The 30-meter-long tugboat boasts a traction force of 50 tons and can store 12,000 liters of methanol, providing enough fuel for two weeks of operation.

The Methatug is part of the European FASTWATER project, which aims to demonstrate the viability of methanol as a sustainable fuel for the shipping industry. This initiative is funded by Horizon 2020, the European research and innovation program.

This pioneering effort is a key component of a larger initiative to green the Port of Antwerp-Bruges' fleet. To date, the Hydrotug 1, the first hydrogen-powered tugboat, and energy-efficient RSD tugboats have been added to the fleet. Additionally, the port plans to introduce Europe's first electrically powered tugboat later this year.