PJSC Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company (UDP) and the Anglo-Belgian Corporation (ABC) in Ukraine have signed a letter of intent to facilitate the process of modernization of the UDP’s pusher tugs, with the facilitation of the Belgian embassy in Ukraine.

The UDP announced this in a statement, the CFTS portal reports.

The document provides for modernization of up to 33 tugs by equipping them with modern hybrid engines and the ABC company’s technologies.

According to the statement, ABC’s hybrid engines allow the use of conventional diesel fuel as well as other types of fuel, such as methanol and hydrogen.

Equipping UDP’s pusher tugs with ABC’s engines and technologies will enable them to meet all Euro Stage V emission standards.

The UDP will be able to extend the service life of its outdated fleet and simultaneously expand its operations in certain sections of River Danube and possibly on River Rhine in the future.

"The UDP will have the opportunity to enter new markets for transportation of goods, such as containers and large-sized equipment, as well as transportation of ‘green hydrogen,’ and ABC will be able to integrate its modern technologies into the business processes of the Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company, into shipbuilding and ship repair," the statement said.

The pusher tugs will be modernized at the Kiliya shipyard with the involvement of ABC’s engineering and technical experts, who will install the appropriate equipment and hybrid engines.

UDP and ABC are currently considering the possibilities for implementation of the business project and looking for the optimal sources of funds for financing it. The possibilities include a targeted loan under an intergovernmental agreement between Ukraine and Belgium. A request to the European Union or the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for funds and/or grants is also a possibility.

The total budget for the project is estimated at EUR 90 million.