Belzona Advances Decarbonization in Maritime Sector

Polymeric Solutions Propel U.S.’s First All-Electric Tugboat, eWolf, Toward Carbon Neutrality


A plethora of novel technologies are surfacing to aid the maritime sector in tackling the challenges posed by decarbonization. Belzona, renowned for its expertise in designing and manufacturing polymer repair composites and industrial protective coatings, has recently contributed to the completion of the United States’ maiden all-electric tugboat, the eWolf. The company’s provision of unique solutions supports a circular economic business model, furthering the mitigation of carbon emissions.

Adhering to emerging international regulations and the aspirational decarbonization objectives outlined by the International Maritime Organization necessitates a substantial increase in renewable energy capacity and energy efficiency improvements by 2030. Among the pivotal strategies for achieving these goals in the maritime sector are “scalable zero-emission fuels” and other cutting-edge technologies. The eWolf, hailed as the inaugural zero-emission tug in the U.S., powered solely by electricity from its battery system, marks a significant stride toward decarbonization.

Launched in 2023, the 82-foot (25-meter) eWolf stands at the forefront of efforts to mitigate the climate impact of the maritime industry. Over its initial decade of operation, the deployment of this new “eTug” is projected to curtail 178 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx), 2.5 tons of diesel particulate matter, and 3,100 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) in contrast to a conventional tugboat.

The eWolf boasts a maximum speed of 12 knots and is propelled by a 6.2 megawatt-hour main propulsion battery alongside two electric motors. Electricity is sourced from a charging station integrated into a microgrid facility, complemented by two energy storage containers, each housing battery modules with a storage capacity of nearly 1.5 megawatt-hours. Notably, the construction of the eWolf necessitated the bonding of its front fender using a robust adhesive capable of withstanding significant pushing and pulling forces, a task entrusted to Belzona.

Following an assessment conducted by Micah Heath, Technical Consultant at Belzona Distributorship, Belzona Alabama, the fast-curing, one-part elastomeric primer, Belzona 2911 (Elastomer QD Conditioner), was prescribed. This conditioner, optimized for adhesion to various substrates including rubber, proved ideal for the application. For bonding purposes, the polyurethane resin Belzona 2211 was selected, prized for its flexibility, durability, and elasticity.

Upon completion of the requisite surface preparation using grinding wheels and the MBX Bristle Blaster, the conditioner, Belzona 2911, was applied. Once touch dry, Belzona 2211 was employed to affix the plugs onto the fender and subsequently bond the three-part fender assembly together. Application teams utilized a manual cable puller to exert the requisite pressure for ensuring adequate surface adhesion. Following a 36-hour curing period, an exceptional mechanical bond was achieved.

In addition to pioneering technologies like the eTug, Belzona underscores the pivotal role of polymeric systems in maritime decarbonization. Embracing a circular economic model, Belzona advocates for the repair and enhancement of damaged assets, thereby averting the need for decommissioning and replacement, resulting in significant financial savings and reduced carbon footprints. This aligns with a net-zero by 2050 trajectory, in accordance with the Paris Agreement.

Furthermore, Belzona’s systems adhere to ISO 9001 quality management standards and are endorsed by classification societies worldwide, including Lloyd’s Register, American Bureau of Shipping, Bureau Veritas, RINA Services, DNV, China Classification Society, and the Korean Register of Shipping.

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