Singapore Seeks to Build Electric Vessel Supply Chain for Harbor 

elctric harbor craft Singapore
The first project will electrify a 30 passenger ferry (Keppel)

Published Aug 6, 2021 5:51 PM by The Maritime Executive

A coalition of companies, research institutes, public authorities, and a classification society plan to work together to develop Singapore’s first comprehensive electric vessel supply chain, which they believe can become a model for decarbonizing harbor operations. The effort, which will be led by Keppel Offshore & Marine seeks to launch the electric supply chain by 2025. Studies indicate with approximately 1,600 diesel-powered harbor crafts operating in the Port of Singapore electrification can have a significant impact on carbon emission. 

The scope of the project includes developing a cost-competitive electric-powered harbor craft, nearshore charging infrastructure, as well as upskilling and developing core talent in marine operations. In the first phase, the coalition will conduct research and feasibility studies as well as pursue the design and development of an electric vessel and charging infrastructure. The project will include retrofitting harbor crafts and installing the charging stations. The partners will then conduct trials and seek to scale up the project.

"Electrification has the potential to accelerate the decarbonization of our local harbor craft industry, so we are pleased to support the joint industry-research consortium led by Keppel in their electric vessel project,” said Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. “This is one of the three consortiums comprising 30 enterprises and research institutions across the value chain that we are supporting under the Maritime GreenFuture Fund.”

Keppel O&M, as the overall systems integrator, will leverage its experience in the design, construction, and digitalization of vessels to retrofit a 30-pax passenger ferry with systems for the vessel to be electric-powered. Keppel O&M working with DNV, the Energy Research Institute @ NTU, Eng Hup Shipping, Envision Digital, Surbana Jurong, and the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore will undertake efforts to test, trial, and operationalize end-to-end solutions for the electric harbor craft.

Keppel O&M’s Floating Living Lab will be used to test bed the electric vessel charging infrastructure, accelerating the piloting and commercialization of the project cost-effectively. 

The partners believe that developing a comprehensive electric vessel supply chain in Singapore will also foster growth in the local SME technology and supply chain ecosystem. Chris Ong, CEO of Keppel O&M also noted that the same electrification solutions can potentially be applied in other segments of the offshore and marine industry and possibly other sectors as well.

Grants have been secured by Keppel O&M from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and Singapore Maritime Institute under the Green Energy and Technology Program and Maritime Decarbonization R&D Program.