Transporting construction waste over canals in Utrecht with KOTUG E-Pusher™

September 28, 2021

Competitive, sustainable solution for heavy truck transport in inner cities.

Client: Construction company Van Zoelen B.V.
Location: Construction site down town Utrecht
Period: 2021

Transporting construction waste and construction materials through the canals in the city centre of Utrecht with the smallest E-Pusher of the KOTUG E-Pusher series, as an alternative for the restricted transport by road in the city centre of Utrecht.

On the Oudegracht in the city centre of Utrecht, the former girls’ school is being converted into apartments. The use of heavy trucks in the City of Utrecht is more and more restricted to reduce CO2 emissions. Truck transport has been regulated by the local administration and trucks are only allowed to carry loads to a maximum of 2 tons per axle; for large construction projects, such as this one in the heart of the historic city centre, this affects the efficiency of the operation both with regard to the planning and the costs.  Therefore Van Zoelen chose for transportation of the construction and waste materials over water with the KOTUG E-Pusher.

For this project the smallest E-Pusher of the E-Pusher series is deployed, the CityBarge One: Length 5,5 m, depth 0,45 m and width 2,0 m. The modular built electric push boat pushes a barge with four empty containers to the site. Upon arrival, it disconnects the barge and then connects to the barge with full containers. Changing the barges takes approximately 15 minutes, after that, the E-pusher pushes the barge to a hub in Nieuwegein where the full containers are being discharged and replaced by empty containers. At the hub also the construction materials are being loaded on a barge to be transported city inward to the construction site.


  • The E-Pusher takes 40 tons of waste every two days, to do the same by road would require nine heavy trucks. The concept is built for both disposal and supply of materials over water;
  • The electric E-Pusher is silent and emission free, and thus contributes to reaching the goals set by the Paris Agreement, Green Deal and modal shift in transportation.
  •  The E-Pusher does not cause congestions in the small streets,  nor do they destroy the vulnerable quays.
  • The canals are being used again for where they were originally built for. The city will become cleaner, more liveable and free of congestion.

“Roman ingenuity in a modern sustainable jacket,” says Martin van Lambalgen, general manager of construction company Van Zoelen. “The waterways are perfect for the heavy flow of goods. And in this way, we transport quietly and cleanly. Moreover, it is beautiful to see.”

The logistics services of KOTUG CityBarge are now available for projects in cities with suitable water logistics, ensuring a clean, seamless connection over waterways by connecting the emission-free E-Pusher from construction site via hubs city outward, and vice-versa with construction materials from city hubs, to construction site. We can also arrange the onward transport from the city hubs with the larger E-Pusher M size.