Rotterdam, 16 February 2022,


KOTUG will deploy the KOTUG E-Pusher type M and four barges for zero-emission barging of cocoa beans from CARGILL between the Port of Amsterdam, the largest cocoa import port in the world, and their cacao facilities in Zaandam. The vessel is equipped with swappable battery energy containers from Shift Clean Energy (Shift), which is part of the revolutionary design of the vessel and will utilize Shift’s unique battery swapping and charging stations.

Cargill will be the first company with this fully electrified industrial setup for inland shipping. With the 100% electric E-Pusher, KOTUG supports companies that want to build more resilient and sustainable upply chains. The modular and scalable electric pusher tug is powered by swappable energy containers. With this zero-emission solution, KOTUG supports the worldwide energy transition and the modal shift from road transport to waterways. Furthermore, due to the modular approach and lean assembly method, KOTUG reduced the construction time by more than half compared to traditional pusher boats. The E-Pusher type M can push barges with up to 4.000 tons of cargo. The E-Pusher Series consists of three types: Small, Medium and Large, respectively for transportation in inner cities, over short distances and the larger inland waterways.

Improving CAPEX and OPEX

By using barges, the E-Pusher concept contributes to a more efficient operation compared to traditional vessels. Efficiency is also achieved with the swappable energy container from SHIFT Clean Solutions; changing the container at one of the battery hubs on-the-go is done in a few minutes. In addition, empty batteries can be recharged at night, taking advantage of possible energy surpluses in the grid.

Shift’s PwrSwäp Solutions

Shift provides swappable energy containers that utilize its zero-emission ESS battery systems which range from 70kWH to 6MWh. These modular ESS battery systems are charged through clean power generation from (bio)gas, hydrogen, and other renewable energy sources either onboard the vessels or at Shift’s dedicated PwrSwäp energy stations. By swapping these ESS battery systems, uptime is maximized for the vessel owners.

Ard-Jan Kooren, President & CEO of KOTUG International: “We launched the E-Pusher concept in 2021, and the smaller type, the E-Pusher S (the ‘CityBarge One’), is already successfully deployed in several inland waterways and cities. I am very proud that an international company like CARGILL is our first customer for the E-Pusher type M. The vessel is designed for transportations like these and guarantees zero-emission logistics and a significantly approved efficiency. As a result, we can support a broad range of industries to turn a part of their supply chain emission-free without extra costs. The applications of the E-Pusher are endless and vary from the transportation of (construction) waste to construction materials to all kinds of products and packages.”

Paul Hughes, President & Co-Founder Shift Clean Energy: “We are thrilled to partner with KOTUG for the supply of the swappable batteries for the revolutionary E-Pusher™ type M. With our PwrSwäp charging stations along the route, as part of the broader Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp route, we can eliminate any concerns on range anxiety. In our opinion, overcoming this important hurdle will open the door to large-scale electrification of vessels, and thus to zero-emission water transportation. Our PwrSwäp charging stations will be multi-fuel and open access and will provide an important infrastructure improvement for ports and cities as they progress their emissions reduction programs. This is a great start.”

Alma Prins, Head Cargo and Offshore at Port of Amsterdam: ”I applaud these kinds of developments and initiatives. As the largest cocoa import port in the world, many cocoa beans arrive here in Amsterdam. It’s great that these can be transported emission-free between the warehouses in our port and the Cargill factories in Zaandam. We want to move towards a climate-neutral port, so the fewer emissions, the better.”


KOTUG is a leading maritime family-owned company, offering its innovative towage and maritime related services on a global scale. KOTUG is firmly committed to the highest industry standards of health, safety, environment, quality and security. Adding value by sustainability-focused innovations, KOTUG provides the complete portfolio based on a combination of long-standing knowledge and advanced technologies. From designing, building, chartering and operating vessels to training people and providing innovative consultancy services. The company’s expertise is divided across five pillars: Towage, Training & Consultancy, Intelligence, Subsea and Maritime Excellence. KOTUG is active in Europe, Russia, Asia, Australia, Africa, Middle East, North and South America and the Caribbean and continues to expand its operations worldwide.

About Shift Clean Energy

Shift Clean Energy enables customers to meet their climate action and ESG goals with clean energy solutions based on leading-edge energy storage systems. Our practical pay-as-you-go PwrSwäp service, based on swappable batteries, is committed to providing zero-emission transportation and improving reliability and less risk. Customers save money from day one through electrification, integrating ESS and renewable energy for both commercial and maritime applications. Join us on our mission to zero-emissions.

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