Singapore's MPA, SMI co-fund electric harbor craft pilot program for cleaner shipping
5th August 2021 13:05 GMT

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Maritime Institute have awarded funding to three consortiums led by Keppel FELS Limited, SeaTech Solutions and Sembcorp Marine, and comprising a total of 30 enterprises and research institutions, to research, design, build and operate a fully electric harbor craft over the next five years.

"To build a sustainable hub port, we plan for the 1,600 harbor craft operating in our waters to run on low-carbon fuels," Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Transport said in the joint media statement on Aug. 5.

"One possible solution is the electrification of our harbor craft fleet, which reduces carbon emissions and has zero pollution," he added.

These electrification pilot projects will demonstrate both commercial and technical viability of specific use cases for full electric harbor craft and will support Singapore's broader plans to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions by the maritime transport sector, the joint statement said Aug. 5.

MPA and SMI had launched the joint call for proposals on the electrification of harbor craft in September 2020.

As part of the initiative, Keppel O&M will lead the consortium to develop electrification solutions for harbor craft, including Solid State Transformer based charging infrastructure and electric retrofit kits, a move that is also in line with Keppel's Vision 2030, Chris Ong, Keppel O&M CEO said.

"Commercialization through owning and deploying a zero-carbon lighter craft vessel will be done by our key consortium industry partner, Yinson Green Technologies, Singapore as part of this program," SeaTech Solutions International VP Technology Prabjot Singh Chopra said.

Sembcorp Marine president and CEO Wong Weng Sun said that the company will be working closely with SP Group and key partners to develop electric vessels and their charging solutions, and to co-create an innovation-led ecosystem for marine electrification. This dovetails with other ongoing projects of Sembcorp Marine including the joint-development of a hydrogen fuel cell system onto a roll-on/roll-off vessel, he added.

Green fuels initiatives

Singapore, the world’s largest bunkering port, has been at the helm of various environmental initiatives to promote cleaner marine fuels.

The city-port has already launched a Maritime GreenFuture Fund to create ecosystems for trials and test-bedding of low-carbon technologies and has recently also established a Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonization.

Set up with a S$120 million ($88.7 million) fund from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, or MPA, and six founding partners — BHP, BW Group, Eastern Pacific Shipping, Foundation Det Norske Veritas, Ocean Network Express, and Sembcorp Marine — the center will spearhead the maritime industry's energy transition journey.

The MPA has also partnered with some players in a joint development project — the Castor Initiative — for the development of an ammonia-fueled tanker while also mulling over biofuels and hydrogen fuel cells to decarbonize Singapore's maritime industry.

The city-port has been developing LNG bunkering capabilities under the LNG bunkering pilot program. It has also partnered port administrations to establish a global network of LNG bunker-ready ports and co-funded the construction of LNG-fueled vessels.

Platts ,
5th August 2021 13:05 GMT