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Goal Zero Consortium launches Singapore’s first electric cargo vessel Hydromover

Vessel is designed with swappable battery solutions, generates zero emissions and can potentially reduce operational costs by up to 50% compared to conventional vessels.

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Goal Zero Consortium launches Singapore’s first electric cargo vessel Hydromover

Green technology solutions provider Yinson GreenTech (YG) together with Goal Zero Consortium (Goal Zero) led by SeaTech Solutions (SeaTech) officially launched the Hydromover on Thursday (23 November), marking a critical milestone in the decarbonisation of Singapore’s maritime industry.

The lightweight, 18.5 metres Hydromover is Singapore’s first fully electric cargo vessel. The vessel is designed with swappable battery solutions and can carry up to 25 tonnes of cargo. It generates zero emissions and can potentially reduce operational costs by up to 50% compared to conventional vessels due to improved energy efficiency and lower maintenance costs.

The vessel was Goal Zero’s submission and one of the proposals under the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) joint Call-for-Proposals for the electrification of harbour craft to be awarded R&D grants from both the MPA Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) Fund and SMI Fund in August 2021. The Hydromover is the first project to be ready for commercial trials, which puts it in an advantageous position in the commercialisation and innovation space.

YGT spearheaded Hydromover’s programme management, system solutions and commercialisation, while its Goal Zero partners were involved in other parts of its development. As lead, Seatech spearheaded the vessel design; Shift Clean Energy was the battery technology partner; RINA Hong Kong Limited Singapore Branch was the classification society; while Lita Ocean was the builder of the Hydromover.

During the ceremony, YGT acknowledged five potential partners who have provided letters of intent to charter the Hydromover for operational trials, with the view to electrify their fleets in future. These are two Goal Zero partners Lita Ocean and DM Sea Logistics, as well as OPL Services, RW Marine Services and Tian San Shipping. The five parties’ combined fleet stands at over 150 vessels, marking significant potential for future conversion to electric vessels.

RINA also handed over the Certificate of Classification to YGT during the event, signifying the Hydromover’s admission to class survey and compliance with RINA Rules for battery-powered vessels. The vessel has also passed an extensive risk assessment relating to battery operation and swapping, ensuring compliance with the most stringent international safety standards in the maritime industry.

The Hydromover will serve as a ‘living lab’ for YGT and Goal Zero’s R&D partners including the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), and the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS), which are working on a holistic digital twin of the vessel. This will facilitate research on the combined effects of variables such as vessel hydrodynamics, propulsion, motor dynamics and battery performance, allowing ship designers and operators to enhance operational efficiency and safety.

The vessel was designed, engineered, and constructed in Singapore, with all major suppliers being local companies. YGT intends to explore more potential partnerships and knowledge sharing within the industry for ongoing enhancements and upgrades to the vessel. This paves the way to elevate Singapore’s expertise for maritime-related green technology and strengthens the city-state’s hub status.

YGT Chief Executive Officer, Mr Eirik Barclay, said: “Being the first to launch a fully electric lighter craft in Singapore marks a transformative moment for YGT. The Hydromover exemplifies what can be achieved through strategic partnerships and alliances with like-minded partners. We are excited to have already received expressions of interest from across the region including Indonesia, where YGT has begun talks with interested parties to deploy the vessel for backwater transportation of goods and electrification of local fishing vessels.

“We are confident of reaping significant advantages from being an early mover in the race to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and we are pleased to already be in talks with supportive financing partners such as UOB and potential equity partners.”

MPA Assistant Chief Executive (Industry and Transformation), Mr Kenneth Lim, said: “I would like to congratulate YGT on the launch of the Hydromover. This is a significant milestone for the Goal Zero Consortium which had responded to previous MPA -SMI Joint call-for-proposals for the electrification of harbourcraft. The knowledge and capabilities gained through the development of the electric lighter craft will certainly add to the industry’s understanding of electric harbourcraft designs and technology options for cargo transport vessels. MPA looks forward to work with more like-minded partners, including research agencies and financial institutions, to accelerate the decarbonisation of the harbour craft fleet in Singapore.”

SeaTech, Vice President Technology, Mr Prabjot Chopra, said: “Congratulations to YGT on the launch of the Hydromover. We are proud to lead the Goal Zero Consortium and design this pioneering electric lighter craft. This marks a pivotal moment in Singapore’s journey towards the electrification of harbor craft. We celebrate with YGT this significant achievement and foresee the Hydromover to be a catalyst in Singapore’s pursuit of a greener harbour. We wish the Hydromover fair winds and following seas on its voyages ahead!”

Mr Eric Lian, Head of Group Commercial Banking, UOB, said: “The launch of the Hydromover will drive the revolution of cargo transportation in the maritime industry. As the lead bank to finance YGT’s development of the prototype, we are pleased to support this achievement, and the efforts of MPA and SMI to promote sustainability through innovative green projects. We stay committed to work towards our national goal of decarbonising the maritime industry, to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.”

Related: Yinson GreenTech commences construction of all-electric cargo vessel “Hydromover”
Related: Yinson GreenTech all-electric crew transfer vessel to undergo sea trials in Singapore

Photo credit: Yinson GreenTech
Published: 24 November, 2023

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Alternative Fuels

Singapore: Smart Port Challenge 2024 aims to attract wider audience of global start-ups

Competition features 14 challenge statements covering areas such as maritime green technologies, including some related to the bunker fuel sector including on methanol and ammonia.

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Singapore: Smart Port Challenge 2024 aims to attract wider audience of global start-ups

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), on Thursday (30 May) launched the Smart Port Challenge (SPC) 2024. 

The annual event to attract start-ups with innovative technology-driven solutions to help address the industry’s key challenges, was held during the InnovFest x Elevating Founders 2024, the official start-up event of Asia Tech x Singapore.

Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment launched SPC24 at the event attended by more than 200 international start-ups, venture capitalists, corporations, and participants. Please refer to Annex A for the SPC2024 launch programme.

Organised by PIER71™1 , SPC2024 will for the first time concurrently launch in Singapore and several overseas partner markets. PIER71™ will leverage the extensive network of BLOCK71 and MPA’s new regional offices and organise six international roadshows in key maritime hubs across Asia, Europe, and North America in June 2024, to attract a wider audience of global start-ups, innovators, and venture capitalists to participate in SPC. 

Apart from forging new networks and partnerships, the roadshows aim to create greater awareness of the vibrant technology and innovation ecosystem, and investment opportunities in Singapore. PIER71™ also hopes to encourage overseas start-ups to incubate and develop their cutting-edge technologies and solutions in Singapore.

Launch of Smart Port Challenge 2024

SPC2024 unveiled 14 challenge statements focusing on four key areas: maritime green technologies; smart shipping; next generation ports; and digitalisation, which includes artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and cloud technologies. These challenge statements reflect the key issues facing the global maritime industry and the diverse opportunities that start-ups can participate in to shape its future. 

Some of the bunker-related challenge statements include improving crew safety in handling methanol as a marine fuel, managing ammonia risk and enhancing charging and battery performance.

Shortlisted start-ups will undergo a 12-week PIER71™ Accelerate programme and may be eligible for MPA Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) grant funding of up to SGD 100,000 for proof-of-concept or pilot projects, and up to SGD 250,000 for new product development. They will also receive support through PIER71™’s global network of partners. The top three winners for SPC2024 will be awarded with cash prizes at the finals in November 2024. Start-ups interested in participating in SPC2024 can find more information and submit proposals through PIER71™’s website at https://pier71.sg. The deadline for submission is 8 July 2024.

Five Start-ups Awarded MINT Grants

At the event, MPA awarded five outstanding maritime technology (MarineTech) start-ups which participated in SPC2023, with grants totalling SGD 250,000 from the Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) Fund. The number of start-ups under PIER71™ has grown from 17 in 2018 when PIER71™ was launched, to more than 100 today. MPA will continue to work with its partners to reach the goal of 150 MarineTech start-ups in Singapore by 2025.

The grants will support the five start-ups in developing prototypes and solutions, including a platform for optimisation, evaluation and verification of biofuel blends, a mobile platform for real-time vessel activity monitoring in port, a cybersecurity solution for networks on board a vessel, a digital tool for enhanced ship inspection and auditing, and a digital twin for container depot operations. 

Mr Kenneth Lim, MPA’s Assistant Chief Executive (Industry & Transformation), said: “The PIER71™ Smart Port Challenge continued to be a relevant platform for innovation in the maritime sector.”

“By attracting diverse solutions from start-ups, SPC promotes innovation and helps accelerate the development of cutting-edge technologies through collaboration with the industry.”

“I am excited about the international roadshows for SPC2024 and look forward seeing more novel solutions to address the industry’s challenges.”

Professor Chen Tsuhan, NUS Deputy President (Innovation and Enterprise), said: “Our collaboration with MPA will further broaden the impact within the growing maritime innovation ecosystem in Singapore and beyond.”

“By leveraging NUS’ robust resources and talent, along with our extensive global BLOCK71 network, we are committed to nurturing an environment that supports start-ups and innovators from all over the world, whether they are establishing themselves in Singapore or expanding overseas.”

“With the support of MPA's regional directors worldwide, this partnership extends valuable resources and growth opportunities to maritime talents and start-ups, driving innovation and leaving a lasting impact on the maritime industry.”

Note: Annex B on the challenge statements and Annex C on the recipients of Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) Grant can be viewed here.

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 31 May 2024

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Shipping Corridor

NatPower Marine, Peel Ports Group plan first Ireland-UK green shipping corridor

Proposed project would see NatPower Marine develop the UK’s first e-ship charging network to support electric propulsion and cold ironing, as part of a global network.

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RESIZED CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

NatPower Marine and Peel Ports Group, a major UK port operator, recently announced plans to establish the first “green shipping corridors” between Ireland and the UK.

The proposed project would see NatPower Marine develop the UK’s first commercial electric ship (e-ship) charging network to support electric propulsion and cold ironing (the process of accessing clean power while docked to avoid significant engine pollution while at the port), as part of a global network.

The network – which would require an estimated GBP 100 million (USD 128 million) investment from NatPower Marine – would see this dedicated e-ship charging infrastructure delivered across all eight UK and Irish ports operated by Peel Ports Group. The master plan would also include electric car, van and HGV chargers installed for commercial electric vehicles passing through the ports.

Over 3,000 vessels cross the Irish Sea every year, emitting 230,000 tonnes of CO2, 20,000 tonnes of nitrous oxide (NOx), and 18,000 of sulphur oxide (SOx). Connecting these to onshore electric charging when in port could dramatically reduce these emissions, supporting climate goals and improving local air quality.

The first Irish Sea routes identified in the proposals include Belfast-Heysham and DublinBirkenhead. This would support Peel Port Group’s ambitions for Heysham Port in Lancashire to become the UK’s first ‘net zero port’. The port has already slashed the emissions of its landside plant, equipment and vehicles by up to 90%.

The plans mark the first step in a new GBP 3 billion global charging network, planned by NatPower Marine for 120 port locations worldwide by 2030. NatPower Marine will develop the sites, in partnership with port operators, and act as the long-term operator of the global charging network.

Stefano Sommadossi, CEO at NatPower Marine, said: “NatPower Marine is investing to deploy the largest global network of charging points to help solve the ‘chicken and egg conundrum’ facing this industry: shipping lines cannot electrify their vessels if port charging infrastructure is not available, and ports are unable to raise capital for charging infrastructure without certainty of demand from shipping lines.

“With marine trade set to triple by 2050, we urgently need to build the global network of clean energy charging infrastructure the industry desperately needs. Our partnership with Peel Ports Group is the first step in this strategic approach to accelerate the adoption of clean energy in shipping and help cargo owners to reach net-zero.” 

Claudio Veritiero, CEO at Peel Ports Group, said: “The proposals presented as part of this partnership are potentially game-changing, and fully support our ambitions to become a net-zero port operator by 2040.”

“We look forward to working closely with NatPower Marine to explore the possibilities for establishing the first green shipping corridor between the UK and Ireland, and further enabling support for our customers, shipping lines and hauliers as they transition to a greener future.”

 

Photo credit: CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Published: 28 May 2024

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Alternative Fuels

SAFEEN Group begins trials of ‘first of its kind’ electric tug in Middle East

Future plans include a shore facility at Khalifa Port capable of delivering 1.5 MW of power for charging, to accommodate such tugs.

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SAFEEN Group trials of ‘first of its kind’ electric tug in Middle East

SAFEEN Group, part of AD Ports Group, on Tuesday (21 May) announced it has commenced a trial of an electric tug within their Marine Services fleet, the “first of its kind” in the Middle East, which will be deployed at AD Ports Group’s flagship facility, Khalifa Port. 

Unveiled during the 27th International Tug & Salvage Convention, Exhibition & Awards 2024, Dubai, the Damen RSD-E Tug 2513 is an all-electric harbour tug, expected to provide numerous advantages including zero emissions from “Tank to Propeller”, operational efficiency thanks to boasting a 70-tonne bollard pull able to handle the largest vessels, and cost-effectiveness due to lower maintenance costs compared to diesel-powered counterparts.

Initially, the tug will be operated via generators which comply with the latest emission IMO tier 3 regulations. This set up, despite using generators, remains more fuel-efficient compared to traditional ASD tugs.

The trial initiative is expected to pave the way for a formalised electrification strategy for the marine services fleet. 

Future plans include a shore facility at Khalifa Port capable of delivering 1.5 MW of power for charging, to accommodate such tugs. With a shore charging facility in place, the tug will benefit from its full electric capabilities, contributing significantly to reducing the carbon footprint of maritime activities.

Captain Ammar Mubarak Al Shaiba, CEO – Maritime & Shipping Cluster, AD Ports Group, said: “We are very proud to have the first electric tug in the Middle East join our fleet. Implementing electric tugs into our operations aligns with our local and global and local ambitions for greener maritime operations.”

“AD Ports Group’s commitment to a sustainable future is underscored by adopting such technologies, contributing to the overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the maritime sector.”

Kommer Damen, Chairman of Damen Shipyards Group, said “We are very pleased that the first electric tug in the Middle East is going to be undertaking operations for SAFEEN Group.”

“The RSD-E 2513 has garnered recognition within the maritime industry, winning the ‘Tug of the Year’ award at the 2022 International Tug & Salvage Awards. This accolade emphasises the vessel’s innovative design and its contribution to environmental sustainability.”

 

Photo credit: AD Ports Group
Published: 24 May 2024

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