Singapore seeks solutions for electric harbour craft


The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has invited interested parties to submit proposals to design and promote adoption of full-electric harbour craft (e-HC) in Singapore. 

Singapore’s Ministry of Transport announced has ruled that all harbour craft, pleasure craft and tug boats will be required to operate at net zero carbon emissions by 2050 in line with Singapore’s national net zero ambitions.

To support that goal, all new harbour craft operating in the Port of Singapore will be required to be fully electric, be capable of using B100 biofuel or be compatible with green hydrogen.

The Port of Singapore is seeking to be an early adopter of e-HC and is seeking to provide e-HC engineering reference designs and safety standards for designers to adopt, as well as helping the companies access more attractive financing solutions and lower the cost of production through aggregating overall demand for e-HC in the sector. 

The call for expressions of interest (EOI) will allow MPA to assess and validate proposals which will need investment for integrated battery management and energy storage systems, emergency back-up, cyber-security and firefighting capabilities.

To facilitate the development of green financing, the EOI will also invite proposals to demonstrate the commercial viability of various business models based on an aggregated harbour craft fleet to meet the demand at the Port of Singapore. An aggregated fleet aims to improve utilisation rates, encouraging more companies, especially those with smaller fleet size, to electrify their harbour craft, while providing efficient and responsive services to meet the needs of ships calling into Singapore.  

At present there are 1,600 harbour craft performing a range of marine services within the Port of Singapore, including the delivery of ship supplies and bunker, as well as towage and launch services. The suitability of electrification as a decarbonisation pathway depends on several factors, including the operating profile and energy requirements of the harbour craft.

Initial progress is expected to be made with the design and support for transition to electrification of the smaller harbour craft. These are generally in the range of 20-40 tonnes in gross tonnage, have an overall length of 10-20 metres, and a combined shaft power ranging from 200-400 kW. There are currently about 400 of these harbour craft deployed in the Port of Singapore. 

Teo Eng Dih, chief executive of MPA, said, “The harbour craft sector is an integral part of our port ecosystem. The expression of interest is a significant first step to encourage and support early adopters of e-harbour craft. With common referenced designs and the aggregation of demand, we hope to reduce the upfront premiums and operating costs for new harbour craft. This will also support the development of green financing options and enhance the skills of our maritime workforce. We look forward to receiving the proposals and working with like-minded partners to grow the green economy and contribute towards Singapore’s decarbonisation goals”.

Interested parties can visit the MPA website for details and deadlines.