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MPA: Financiers and insurers ready to support electrification of the domestic harbour craft sector

Nineteen financing and insurance proposals received to support Singapore’s domestic transition to electric harbour craft.

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MPA electric vessel adoption

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Thursday (11 April) said it has received 12 financing and seven insurance proposals in response to the Expression of Interest (EOI) launched to support early adopters of electric harbour craft (e-HC).

The proposals were submitted by local and international financial institutions (FIs), financial intermediaries, marine insurers, and insurance brokers.

Expanding the financing options for harbour craft owners

MPA has shortlisted EOI proposals from DBS Bank Ltd, United Overseas Bank Limited, BNP Paribas Singapore Branch, KfW IPEX-Bank Asia Ltd, and Société Générale, to offer direct debt financing options for harbour craft owners. MPA will work with these banks to further develop their solutions.

The response to the EOI has also affirmed the strong interest from FIs and financial intermediaries in offering alternative financing solutions beyond debt financing to support the sector’s transition to e-HC. Eight consortia submitted alternative financing proposals. In the next phase of the EOI process, MPA will issue a closed call for proposals to further select the alternative financing proposal(s) for implementation. MPA will provide more details on the next steps in 2nd quarter 2024.

MPA and Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) will also be working with interested FIs to explore onboarding them to the Enterprise Financing Scheme – Green (EFS-Green), with EnterpriseSG undertaking risk-sharing of 70% to support lending by participating FIs. This initiative will potentially open up more financing options for harbour craft owners planning on adopting green technologies and solutions for their fleet.

The seven insurance related submissions indicated that the proposed insurance premiums for e-HC are comparable to that of conventional harbour craft. These proposals were submitted by Income Insurance Limited, QBE Insurance (Singapore) Pte Ltd, The Shipowners’ Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association (Luxembourg) Singapore Branch, NorthStandard Limited, Tigermar Global Pte Ltd, Cambiaso Risso Asia Pte Ltd, and Lockton Companies (Singapore) Pte Ltd. EOI participants raised the areas of information sharing and access to relevant technical and operational information, loss prevention programmes and quality assurance, as supportive mechanisms needed to help right-price insurance premiums for e-HC. MPA will consult the industry on these supportive mechanisms, which could include setting up of a data repository platform, development of training programmes to promote safety awareness and best practices for e-HC operations, as well as establishing quality assurance framework(s) and mechanisms to ensure repair and maintenance services standards for e-HC.

Other initiatives to support the harbour craft sector

In January 2024, MPA announced three vessel charging concepts to be piloted in Singapore following the call for proposal to develop, operate, and maintain e-HC charging points in Singapore. The proposal by Pyxis and SP Mobility based on Direct Current (DC) charging has been deployed at Marina South Pier in April 2024. In addition, MPA has also assessed potential in the innovative mobile charging concept proposed by Seatrium O&G (International) Pte Ltd, and a high power (350-450kW) DC Charger proposed by Yinson Electric Pte Ltd. MPA will continue working with the two companies to further develop their proposals for future applications in Singapore through R&D collaboration.

MPA is working with EnterpriseSG, industry stakeholders and academia, to develop a Technical Reference (TR) for e-HC charging and battery swap systems, to support the development of the e-HC charging infrastructure and ecosystem in the Port of Singapore. The draft TR will provide requirements and guidelines for onshore electrical installations to provide electrical power supply for both charging batteries installed in electric harbour craft and battery swap operations to ensure safety, operational efficiency, and interoperability.

The draft TR will align with relevant International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards, as well as local standard TR 25 “Electric Vehicles Charging System”. It will also adopt or adapt charging practices like the Combined Charging System (CCS), and the upcoming Megawatt Charging System (MCS), which is being commercially developed. The draft TR will soon be available for public consultation. Please register your interest to view the TR via go.gov.sg/mpa-tr-ehc-charging.

MPA has recently shortlisted a total of 11 passenger launch and cargo lighter vessel designs following an EOI launched on e-HC design proposals. MPA is working with researchers to enhance the various vessel designs and reduce their energy requirements. When ready, the reference designs can be progressively marketed, and production orders aggregated from the industry. This is expected to reap overall cost savings for companies making a transition to e-HC.

From 2030, all new harbour craft operating in the Port of Singapore will have to be fully electric, be capable of using B100 biofuel, or be compatible with net zero fuels such as hydrogen. For biofuels, blends of up to B50 are already commercially available. MPA is working with industry to develop the standards for up to B100.

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 11 April 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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Battery

Berlin’s 138-year-old passenger vessel gets electric power makeover by Torqeedo

Torqeedo’s Customized Solutions team converted Berlin’s oldest passenger vessel to electric power, saving over 150 litres of diesel per operating hour.

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Berlin’s 138-year-old passenger vessel gets electric power makeover by Torqeedo

Torqeedo, developer and manufacturer of electric and hybrid drives, on Monday (13 May) said owners of Kaiser Friedrich, a passenger vessel steeped in history and built in 1886, refitted the historic 30-metre vessel with a modern, emission-free electric drive system by Torqeedo.

The vessel recently marked its return to service with a ceremonial christening in central Berlin. 

The Kaiser Friedrich, a twin-screw steamship, plied Berlin’s waters for almost 80 years before it was decommissioned in 1967 and converted into offices and residential space. In 1986, the German Museum of Technology purchased the 100-ton boat and restored it to its original appearance. 

For several years, the Kaiser Friedrich once again was in operation with historical city tours until its engines, which used over 150 litres of diesel per hour, made operation both ecologically and economically unviable. The museum reclaimed the boat in 2012 and started the search for Kaiser Friedrich’s next chapter.

In 2022, Volker Marhold and Julius Dahmen, who both have experience converting historic boats to electric propulsion, purchased the Kaiser Friedrich. In close collaboration with Torqeedo’s Customized Solutions team, the conversion to an ultra-efficient electric drive system with twin Deep Blue 50 kW inboard motors and a 400 kWh Deep Blue battery bank was expertly completed by the Tangermünde Shipbuilding and Development Company in Genthin, Germany.

Starting on 13 May, Berliners and visitors to the “Athens on the Spree” can enjoy an eco-friendly city tour on board this legendary passenger vessel. At night, the city’s most famous boat transforms into a floating beer garden during the 3.5-hour Old Berlin Beer Evening.

Dahmen, co-owner of the 138-year-old vessel and operator of Berliner Welle, a company that provides a variety of historic boats for excursions and events, said: “Whisper-quiet, environmentally conscious and free of local emissions, the Kaiser Friedrich will again be available to the people of Berlin. This is the third Berliner Welle excursion boat that we have converted to Torqeedo electric drives, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration.

“The Kaiser Friedrich is a longtime maritime landmark of the city,” said Mr. Marhold. “And now it is also a symbol of transformation towards the mobility of the future. And what a wonderful future for Berlin’s oldest passenger vessel, which can now once again welcome passengers to celebrate life with them while enjoying breathtaking views of our beautiful city."

“Torqeedo’s electric drive and energy management systems for commercial vessels are transforming the world’s waterways,” said Fabian Bez, CEO of Torqeedo GmbH. 

“Major cities like Berlin are taking measures to reduce boating and shipping’s ecological, health and climate impacts. But it’s not just happening in urban areas: Lake Constance is working toward a holistic decarbonization strategy, and we see similar efforts implemented around the globe.”

“An electrification project of this size and historical significance is an important step forward,” continued Bez. “Commercial vessels of all sizes can be cleaner, quieter, and healthier for our natural and human environments. The technology is here today. It’s time to go electric.”

The historic 150-passenger vessel will enter regular service on 13 May 2024.

 

Photo credit: Torqeedo
Published: 14 May, 2024

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