Feature, Freight News, Inland waterway

New vessel to give inland waterway freight a push

[ August 31, 2022   //   ]

Lithuanian ship designer Western Baltic Engineering (WBE) has unveiled the Electric Eeel, which it believes is the first ever electric pusher vessel on Europe’s inland waterways.

Klaipeda headquartered WBE said the first electric pusher is due to be built next year for the Lithuanian Inland Waterways Authority, and could replace diesel pushers which presently dominate the market for propelling barges around Europe’s inland waterways. The move is in response to pressure from the European Commission to reduce CO2 emissions and shift road freight to zero emission vessels on inland waterways.

The pusher design is pending class approval with Bureau Veritas and has a range of 300km. The 26m long vessel is powered by three batteries with a combined weight of 74 tonnes, two held in TEU containers on deck which can be replaced via crane at harbour, and one permanent battery below deck which can be charged at quayside, giving a pushing capacity of 2000 tonnes and a top speed of 22Km/h downstream at 85 per cent engine load.