Caterpillar and Wilson Sons, a Brazilian shipping company, have signed an MOU to support Wilson Sons with the adoption of tugboat and offshore vessel powertrain technologies and services that enable the fulfillment of emissions reduction and decarbonization in towage and offshore operations. Together with Cat® dealer, Sotreq, Caterpillar will oversee the implementation of retrofits and upgrades to reduce the environmental impact of Wilson Sons’ existing fleet, technology-enabled services for emissions monitoring, and the usage of low or no carbon fuels in their fleet.

"Improving sustainability in maritime operations requires us to not only address building new, more efficient ships that use low carbon fuels but also understand how we can reduce the impact from existing fleets. The collaboration with Wilson Sons allows us to find solutions to both of these challenges from the perspective of a large operator," comments Brad Johnson, vice president, and general manager, of Caterpillar Marine.

"The MOU is a key step for Wilson Sons to boost the efficiency and sustainability of port operations. We have planned to build six new Cat powered tugboats, two of which have been delivered already. These tugs incorporate new technologies, including IMO Tier III emissions standards. An innovative tug design allows an estimated reduction of up to 14% in greenhouse gas emissions thanks to more efficient hydrodynamics,” said Adalberto Souza, executive director of Wilson Sons shipyards. “For the coming years, we are planning to build new tugs designed for reduced emissions, usage of batteries or alternative fuels like biodiesel, methanol or ethanol," he concluded.

The MOU further demonstrates efforts from Caterpillar to work with maritime operators to implement technologies and services to help achieve their climate-related goals. With a stated commitment to incorporating sustainability into their business, Wilson Sons will work with Caterpillar to adopt new technologies that positively impact operational efficiency and reduce their carbon emissions long-term, such as by adopting low-carbon fuels, hybrid, and electrification solutions.

"We're looking at a broad range of solutions in our portfolio in alignment with Wilson Sons' goals. In the case of engine upgrades, our solution leverages the high durability of Caterpillar Marine engines. It adds engineering improvements, emissions reduction, and performance enhancements developed since the inception of the original asset. When combined with major overhauls, customers can significantly improve the value of their assets for a reasonable incremental investment. In addition, we fully leverage Cat Reman, reducing waste and minimizing the need for raw material, energy, and water associated with producing new parts,” said Andres Perez, global tug segment manager, at Caterpillar Marine.