The first tugboat powered by fuel cells, the "Hydrotug", has been commissioned by the Port of Antwerp from the Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) and will begin operating in 2021.

CMB already distinguished itself last year by winning the Sustainability Award for its fuel cell-powered ferry, the "Hydroville". The ferry is still in operation around the Port of Antwerp for passenger transport.

Their new tugboat is one of a kind. Equipped with hydrogen-powered fuel cells, it can also make use of a diesel engine if necessary. However, 85% of its power will still be provided by hydrogen, a low-carbon fuel. This has earned it the title of "the least polluting tugboat in the world". It meets the strictest European standard (Stage V), thanks to its use of a particulate filter, an effective catalyst and a fuel cell.

By commissioning this sort of vessel, the Port of Antwerp is affirming its position as a leader in the roll-out of fuel cells throughout port infrastructures. Port manager Annick De Ridder sees the Port of Antwerp as an ideal testing ground for this new technology and as an example for other ports.