ISS Issues RFP to Construct North America’s First Zero-emissions Towboats
Houston-based Industrial Service Solutions (ISS) announced Thursday it is seeking bids from U.S. shipyards to build up to four hulls for what will become North America’s first fully-electric towboats.
The zero-emissions vessels, which will be constructed for New York-based Zeeboat and available for charter from 2025, will run entirely on battery power, without the use of diesel engines—a first for towboats in North America. Vancouver, B.C.-based Shift Clean Energy will deliver the battery energy storage systems.
ISS, which was selected in 2021 to provide general contract, project management and vessel support services for the manufacture and delivery of the first-of-their-kind vessels, said its request for proposal (RFP) will be open form May 15 through June 30, 2022 and is for construction of the first hull, with options for up to three additional hulls.
The fully-electric vessel is based on The Shearer Group, Inc.’s (TSGI). proven 95- by 34-foot towboat hull design, which is said to increase water flow to the propeller and improve overall efficiency of the barge/towboat combination by more than 10% compared to traditional towboat designs. When coupled with an azimuth thruster pod drive system, the hull design will improve overall efficiency by more than 30% when compared to conventional towboats, the Houston-based naval architecture and marine engineering firm said.
The project partners said their first goal is to enable greener transit with zero-emissions towboats, but they will later work toward a joint development of electrification technologies to further reduce the carbon footprint of ports and harbors.
“Moving carbon-intensive processes, like shipping and port management, to electric power sources is a critical step to meeting net-zero emissions targets,” said Wade Stockstill, ISS CEO. “Our electrification technologies and track record dovetail neatly with innovations from partners like Shift Clean Energy, enabling ISS to deliver turnkey solutions to some of today’s biggest green energy challenges.”
ISS said interested shipbuilders should contact its director of business development, Jessica Lewis, at Jessica.Lewis@iss-na.com for RFP submission information and detailed project specifications.