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Atlantic Towing Completes Sea Trials Operating On a Renewable Energy Source

Atlantic Towing Limited has taken a major step towards reducing carbon emissions in the Canadian marine transportation industry.  


In 2020, Atlantic Towing submitted a proposal to have one of their four Multi-Function Platform Supply Vessel’s (MFPSV), the Atlantic Shrike, outfitted with cutting-edge battery technology, also known as an Energy Storage System (ESS). This battery system is able to reduce an estimated 800 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year, on the Shrike’s vessel operations in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

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The vessel’s existing dynamic positioning and automation systems, as well as ventilation and freshwater cooling were modified to accommodate the large-scale ESS, a containerized module measuring over 11 metres (37 ft) in length and weighing over 40 tonnes (90,000 lbs). Extensive research was completed to ensure optimization in terms of operation and safety, including a robust firefighting system of water mist protection and inert gas deployment.  


In October and November 2022, the Atlantic Shrike successfully completed a series of sea trials off the coast of Newfoundland, while powered solely by the ESS. The vessel demonstrated an ability to not only transit in full zero-emissions mode, but also operate in hybrid mode while dynamic positioning. The highlight of the trial was the ESS taking over the full load of the ship, including propulsion, for approximately 30 minutes, sailing at seven knots.  


As more research is conducted on battery technology in marine transport, the length of time an Offshore Supply Vessel could operate, without burning fuel, will increase. Data gathered from the Atlantic Shrike’s sea trials will be key to supporting these improvements. 


Atlantic Towing is proud to be stewards of the shift towards carbon-free operations. We look forward to continuing to lead with sustainability, innovation, and excellence embedded into our goals. 


This initiative was funded in part by Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan), Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), and administered by Energy Research and Innovation Newfoundland and Labrador (ERINL). A pan-Canadian effort was made by our vessel charterer, Exxon Mobil, and our project team, including Vard Electro Canada, Fleetway Inc., Pennecon Technical Services Limited, Irving Equipment Limited, FIT Industrial, and Corvus Energy.