Under the deal, the new tugboat will be equipped with a hybrid propulsion system developed and manufactured by Niigata Power Systems.
The new tugboat is being built with support from Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) as part of a joint R&D deal with industry.
The tugboat will adopt a propulsion system which uses electrical motors and high-performance rechargeable batteries along with conventional diesel engines for towing operation.
The tugboats will use IHI built rechargeable batteries offering 20% lower CO2 emissions when in port.
Keihin Dock’s Oppama Shipyard will build the tug, which is scheduled to be completed by January next year.
Upon completion, WMS will use the tug for towing operations mainly at the port of Yokohama.
NYK said the environmental friendly tugboats will contribute to environmental conservation effort while which towing large vessels into and out of ports, often in areas near to urban areas.
Last month NYK had introduced an on-board broadband communication system on its containerships to reduce CO2 emissions during ship operation.
The new system allows the ships to gather specific weather and sea-current forecast information, improves the automatic transmission of ship operation data and ship operation monitoring on land.
It accelerates information-sharing and communication between staff on land and on board vessels.
NYK aims at reducing fuel consumption rate by 10% by 2015 compared to the 2010 level, as part of its proposed plan"More Than Shipping 2013".