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Svitzer and Caterpillar partner on methanol as a fuel in newbuilds and conversions of existing tugs

Svitzer, a leading global marine operations and towage operator, and Caterpillar Marine signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to adopt solutions that enable Svitzer to utilize methanol in their fleet.

The implementation of dual-fuel methanol engines focuses on new tugs as well as conversions of existing Cat-powered tugs, which comprise the majority of Svitzer’s fleet. With a relationship spanning numerous decades, this agreement marks the next evolution of their journey to, among other initiatives such as the adoption of biofuels in EcoTow, enable the fulfilment of Svitzer’s decarbonization strategy.

Following the recent Cat 3500-E series methanol-readiness announcement in September 2022, this MOU formalizes the collaboration to deploy engine technologies that enable Svitzer to utilize methanol, which can be produced from renewable energy sources to reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions.

With a focused strategy on sustainability, Svitzer is making pragmatic decisions to support reductions in carbon intensity in the maritime industry, aiming to achieve a 50% reduction in the CO2 intensity of its entire fleet by 2030 and become CO2 neutral across all scopes by 2040.

Given the size and complexity of our fleet and the ambitious target we have set of becoming carbon neutral in 2040, it is critical to take a holistic approach to reducing our CO2 emissions. While we seek to mature and utilize new technologies, fuel types and operational approaches for new vessels, we also have to find solutions that help reduce the emissions from our existing fleet. The support Caterpillar provides in finding ways of converting our equipment to methanol usage plays a key role in this.

—Gareth Prowse, head of decarbonization for Svitzer


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