Photo: Illustration; Source: Keppel

MPA, SMI to co-fund harbor craft electrification projects in decarbonisation push

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) have awarded funding to three consortiums to research, design, build and operate a fully electric harbor craft over the next five years.

MPA and SMI had launched the joint call for proposals on the electrification of harbor craft in September 2020 after a series of workshops with the industry.

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The call for proposals drew strong interest from the maritime community with 83 participants submitting a total of 16 proposals.

The three selected proposals will tap on MPA’s Maritime GreenFuture Fund for the research, testing and piloting of low-carbon technologies.

Led by Keppel FELS Limited, SeaTech Solutions and Sembcorp Marine, the consortiums comprise a total of 30 enterprises and research institutions.

A total of S$9 million from the fund will be set aside to co-fund such harbour craft projects.

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 (GHG) emissions by the maritime transport sector, according to MPA.

The funding for these projects will enable various technologies and charging infrastructures to be studied, test-bedded and deployed across different types of harbor craft and operating profiles, through use cases proposed by the consortiums.

The use cases involve two passenger ferries of different capacities and a lighter craft.

“To build a sustainable hub port, we plan for the 1,600 harbourcraft operating in our waters to run on low-carbon fuels. One possible solution is the electrification of our harbourcraft fleet, which reduces carbon emissions and has zero pollution,” Senior Minister of State for Transport, Chee Hong Tat, said.

“The project augments Keppel O&M’s efforts in providing innovative cleaner energy solutions for the marine sector, such as the pilot of Singapore’s first floating Energy Storage System on our Floating Living Lab. This is in line with Keppel’s Vision 2030, which places sustainability at the core of its strategy,” Keppel O&M CEO, Chris Ong, commented.

He also noted that the same electrification solutions could possibly potentially be applied in other segments of the offshore and marine industry and other sectors as well.

Keppel Corporation and its compatriot offshore builder Sembcorp Marine inked non-binding agreements related to a possible merger of Keppel Offshore & Marine and Sembcorp Marine.

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