The ABB ETB (Electric Tow Boat)

The U.S. inland river market is ready for electric propulsion


Electric propulsion has proven itself among owners of many different vessel types. Now ABB’s electric propulsion systems are available to help long-established towboat owners in the U.S. inland waterway market solve some very modern challenges. With regulators restricting emissions from ships to EPA Tier 4 standards, diesel electric propulsion offers owners a way to build compliant vessels operating on easier to meet Tier 3 main engines.

ABB has taken the time to understand the demands of this unique sector, creating solutions whose flexibility addresses new regulations, increasing CAPEX costs for new builds, the imperative for lower OPEX costs and demand for greater vessel reliability. The result is ABB’s ETB (Electric Tow Boat), featuring an electric propulsion from ABB that can be delivered as customized towboat systems, including generators, propulsion motors, low voltage switchboards and automation. 

ABB’s ETB solutions allow owners not only to enhance fleet management by standardizing engines across multiple horsepower needs, but to make direct savings on operating costs and maintenance by improving handling responsiveness and enabling predictive maintenance. In addition, due to the availability of multiple prime movers, the ETB is not exposed to single points of equipment failure. 

Just as the diesel engine superseded steam, the combined benefits of the ETB represent the next generation of towboat for the US inland waterway network, from which there is no going back. 

Authors: Edward Schwarz, Vice President, Sales, New Build Sales; Richard Rozok, Technical Manager, Sales, New Build Sales.

Edward Schwarz is responsible for business development and the development of new sales programs for ABB’s marine and ports business unit in North America. With his long experience in the marine propulsion market, Ed brings new concepts to unique vessel applications.

Richard Rozok is responsible for developing new technical solutions for the North American new sales program. He brings proven technical expertise and the ability to find practical and creative solutions to solve vessel owner’s problems.

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Media enquiries:

Margarita Sjursen

Global Communications Manager
ABB Marine & Ports
Bergerveien 12
1396 Billingstad


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