When it comes to green transportation, everyone has heard of hybrid cars and energy-efficient vehicles. Even airplanes use biofuel these days, but one form of transport that has yet to be made greener is shipping. Namely, diesel-powered tugboats. Used to tow liners and tankers out of the world’s ports, conventional tugboats are a major source of pollution — however, an American company is aiming to change that with the launch of an energy-efficient hybrid tugboat!

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The Foss Maritime Company has announced that it is adding a second energy efficient hybrid tugboat to its Southern California fleet. Its first hybrid vessel, the Carolyn Dorothy, was launched in 2009, and at the time it was believed to be the first and only tugboat of its kind in the world.

According to the company’s press release, the new tug will build on the success of the Carolyn Dorothy and will be retrofitted with hybrid technology for service in San Pedro Bay, thanks to a $1 million grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

The new project will be a joint partnership between Foss, the Port of Long Beach, and the Port of Los Angeles. Speaking about the new hybrid, Richard Cameron, Director of Environmental Planning at the Port of Long Beach said, “The Foss /Aspin Kemp & Associates hybrid technology is already proving its worth on the Carolyn Dorothy.” “When the Air Resources Board asked for proposals to retrofit existing vessels with cutting-edge hybrid technology, we knew we wanted to partner with Foss again.” “We believe the retrofit will be the next step in hybrid technology evolution.

The new boat will be called the Campbell Foss. It’s a conventional dolphin tug currently assisting oceangoing vessels in the San Pedro Bay that will be retrofitted with motor generators, batteries, and control systems at Foss’ shipyard in Rainier, Oregon. This first step in maritime evolution could help to curb the rising level of pollution in the seas. Emissions from shipping are actually shockingly high, but Foss Maritime believes that by creating hybrid tugs, they will save 100,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year.

+ Foss Maritime Company