Photo: Illustration. Image by SeaTech

Industry partners to deliver Singapore’s first hybrid electric bunker tankers

Industry partners Shift Clean Energy, SeaTech and energy company Vitol have teamed up for a marine electrification project to deliver Singapore’s first hybrid bunker tankers.

As part of the project, up to four hybrid tankers will be designed by SeaTech using Shift’s energy storage systems (ESS).

The vessels in question are to be provided to V-Bunkers, Vitol’s bunker operations company, and will be fitted with Shift’s 480-Kwh liquid-cooled ESS and battery management systems.

This will result in improved fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by approximately 10% a year, Shift claims.

As explained, the ESS will be primarily used for peak shaving, i.e. storing energy during low power consumption for use during peak usage periods, allowing main generators to operate with a more stable load.

The solution is said to help optimise energy use, significantly reduce fuel and maintenance costs, improve responsiveness and reliability of power management and in turn enhances the safety of operations. 

For V-Bunkers, the move to adopt Shift’s clean energy solution will help decarbonise the company’s fleet operations and support its ongoing emissions reduction and commercial objectives. 

“A bunkering fleet is a crucial component of global shipping infrastructure, so it makes sense to look at ways to reduce GHGs here”, Mike Muller, head of Vitol Asia, remarked. “Adopting the right fuel efficiency technology is imperative to the sector’s growth and development and we look forward to implementing Shift’s ESS to offer the highest levels of safety and efficiency throughout our bunker craft operations.”

“With our partners Red Offshore, we’re excited to be partnering with V-Bunkers on this important clean energy initiative for their hybrid bunker tanker operations in Singapore”, said Brent Perry, Shift’s CEO.

“This demonstrates that there are opportunities to reduce GHGs for oil and gas companies anywhere in the supply chain. V-Bunkers is showing … leadership with this electrification project and Shift is proud to be part of such a huge step in decarbonising the short sea shipping sector.”

Commenting on the project, Prabjot Chopra, vice president of Technology of SeaTech, said: “The new hybrid bunker tankers are tailored and optimised for their operating profile to reduce the GHG emission by about 10 per cent without significantly increasing the capital expenditures. Shift’s ESS was specified for this design for its superior safety and efficiency.”

SeaTech and Shift are also a part of the recently formed alliance working on the construction of the first all-electric, zero carbon emission harbour tug in the Asia Pacific region.

The parties are combining expertise with Vallianz Holdings Limited and the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) to build the 24-metre e-tug that will be powered fully by battery and equipped with azimuth propulsion. It will have a bollard pull in excess of 60 tonnes with a service speed of over 12 knots.

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