Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M) through its wholly owned subsidiary, Keppel FELS Limited, together with DNV, Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N), Eng Hup Shipping, Envision Digital, Surbana Jurong, and the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS) have formed a coalition to develop Singapore’s first comprehensive electric vessel supply chain by 2025.
This includes developing a cost-competitive electric-powered harbour craft, nearshore charging infrastructure, as well as upskilling and developing core talent in marine operations. Developing a comprehensive electric vessel supply chain in Singapore will also foster growth in the local SME technology and supply chain ecosystem.
Grants have been secured by Keppel O&M from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) under the Green Energy and Technology Programme (GETP) and Maritime Decarbonisation R&D Programme (MDRP) respectively.
Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive, MPA, says, “Electrification has the potential to accelerate the decarbonisation of our local harbourcraft industry so we are pleased to support the joint industry-research consortium led by Keppel in their electric vessel project. 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 extensive experience in the design, construction and digitalisation of vessels to retrofit a 30-pax passenger ferry with systems for the vessel to be electric-powered. Keppel O&M and the coalition will test, trial and operationalise end-to-end solutions for the electric harbour craft.
Chris Ong, CEO of Keppel O&M, says, “We are pleased to be able to leverage and support the efforts by MPA in the decarbonisation of the industry. Keppel O&M will lead the coalition to develop end-to-end electrification solutions for harbour craft, paving the way to make sea transport significantly greener in Singapore. The same electrification solutions can potentially be applied in other segments of the offshore and marine industry and possibly other sectors as well.”
“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,” continues Ong.
Keppel O&M’s Floating Living Lab will be used to testbed the electric vessel charging infrastructure, accelerating the piloting and commercialisation of the project cost-effectively. It also facilitates the use of renewable energy such as solar in the charging infrastructure. Keppel O&M’s proprietary digitalisation system, AssetCare, will be used for the lifecycle management of the electric vessels and charging infrastructure.
The project will tap on the expertise of the coalition to develop marine and land-based charging infrastructure, inter-operable standards for Singapore-wide adoption, and marinised energy storage system (ESS) to power harbour craft. It will also leverage cyber-physical modelling and simulation in the development of the electric-powered harbour craft. In addition, the coalition will research and develop advanced technologies, including solid state transformer (SST)-based charging infrastructure with scalability, low footprint, and enhanced performance.
In the first phase of the project, the coalition will conduct research and feasibility studies; design and develop the electric vessel and charging infrastructure; as well as retrofit the harbour craft and install the charging stations. The coalition will then conduct trials and seek to scale up the project.
Some 1,600 diesel-powered harbour craft provide essential marine services to ships within the Port of Singapore. Based on studies conducted by the Maritime Energy & Sustainable Development Centre of Excellence as well as by Keppel O&M, electrification of a single vessel can reduce carbon emissions by around 20%.
As part of Keppel’s Vision 2030, the Keppel Group is pursuing opportunities in electric-powered vessels and vehicles. In addition to Keppel O&M’s efforts in developing Singapore’s first comprehensive electric vessel supply chain, Keppel Infrastructure has established a joint venture, Keppel Volt, to develop, invest in, own and operate electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, as well as pursue other EV-related opportunities in Singapore and selected markets in the Asia Pacific region.