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PIER71 event showcases Singapore maritime digitalisation, decarbonisation solution startups

Submissions for the Smart Port Challenge Grand Finals 2023 were related to solutions supporting maritime clean fuels operations, carbon-value chain, electrification, and green maritime supply chain.

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Pier71 event showcases Singapore maritime digitalisation, decarbonisation solution startups

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and National University of Singapore (NUS) commemorated the 5th anniversary of PIER71 at the inaugural PIER71 Great Circle 2023 event held on Tuesday (21 November) at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The event comprised the 7th edition of the Smart Port Challenge Grand Finals, a MarineTech Start-up Innovation Showcase, and the inaugural PIER71 Ascend. PIER71 Great Circle 2023 event draws inspiration from the practice of great-circle navigation and reflects the efforts by PIER71 to help start-ups get on the most direct route to deliver maritime innovation.

Since its establishment in 2018, PIER71 has nurtured close to 110 MarineTech start-ups with the support of 62 corporate partners. MPA’s Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) Fund has supported over 50 start-up projects, with 26 solutions already deployed by the industry. These start-ups have also raised over SGD65 million in investments from venture capital (VC) partners to support their expansion. Five foreign MarineTech start-ups have also expanded to Singapore, and four start-ups including three from Singapore have been acquired by corporates.

MPA and NUS have expanded PIER71 initiative in 2023 to connect shortlisted start- ups to overseas markets, government stakeholders, and prospective maritime customers through the PIER71 Ascend 12-month programme. The first cohort comprising four start- ups was unveiled at the event and they will be working closely with PIER71 to sharpen their growth strategy in 14 overseas markets which they are operating in.

Winners of the Smart Port Challenge Grand Finals 2023

17 finalists were shortlisted from a pool of 150 applications from 30 countries, and the top three winners were selected by a judging panel in the Smart Port Challenge Grand Finals 2023. 

The countries include Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Uruguay.

Measure.AI, CRecTech, and Rux Energy emerged as the first, second, and third winners respectively, and MicroSec received a Special Mention by the judges. The evaluation criteria was based on quality of the innovation, business model, market potential, industry relevance, and the team’s capability including tech development and design skills.

Measure.AI from Singapore makes novel, low-cost, reusable and highly sensitive real-time gas sensors. It uses a patented novel method of making various unique of gas sensors. Their sensors are non-specific and the gases or gas mixtures are identified and quantified based the unique changes in the electrical properties of an array of sensors upon gas exposure.

CRecTech from Singapore developed a novel catalyst coating for biogas reforming that greatly enhances its resistance against carbon and CO2 poisoning, and is capable of breaking down and utilising CO2 in biogas. This enables a revolutionary one-step biogas reforming process, converting CO2-rich biogas into low-carbon hydrogen and syngas for green methanol in a subsequent process.

Rux Energy is an Australian advanced materials startup aiming to double the volumetric efficiency and halve the cost of dispatchable hydrogen storage for bulk distribution, refuelling, heavy mobility and aviation. Their goal is to be directly responsible for 50 million tonnes of CO2 abatement, each year, every year, by 2030.

One of the grand finalists from Singapore, 3Y Energy highlighted its innovative system that integrates with current engines, a one-stop solution for integrating alternative bunker fuels (specifically ammonia, methanol, and hydrogen) into existing marine or heavy-duty engines. The modular design of the system incorporates fuel supply, combustion control and online monitoring. The design also ensures optimal combustion without any output degradation. Users can flexibly adjust the CO2 reduction range to meet regulatory standards, achieving up to 90% reduction with ammonia and a complete 100% with hydrogen. 3Y Energy’s solution is estimated to be 10%-20% of a conventional engine of similar capacity.

Close to 50% of the submissions received were related to maritime digitalisation, and 40% were related to maritime decarbonisation. These include solutions to support maritime clean fuels operations, carbon-value chain, electrification, and green maritime supply chain. The emphasis on digitalisation and decarbonisation reflects the increasing attention by the industry and urgency to accelerate the green energy transition. 

The 18 finalists have also completed PIER71 Accelerate, an eight-week market validation and customer discovery programme and are now eligible to apply for a grant of up to S$100,000 from MPA to embark on pilot projects with maritime companies.

Close to 50% of the submissions received were related to maritime digitalisation, and 40% were related to maritime decarbonisation. 

These include solutions to support maritime clean fuels operations, carbon-value chain, electrification, and green maritime supply chain. The emphasis on digitalisation and decarbonisation reflects the increasing attention by the industry and urgency to accelerate the green energy transition. 

The 17 finalists have also completed PIER71 Accelerate, an eight-week market validation and customer discovery programme and are now eligible to apply for a grant of up to S$100,000 from MPA to embark on pilot projects with maritime companies.

Mr Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive, MPA, said, “Technology and innovation will play a pivotal role as the global shipping community and Maritime Singapore accelerates digitalisation and decarbonisation efforts. The PIER71 programme partnership among MPA, NUS, and industry collaborators has helped to nurture Singapore’s maritime innovation ecosystem, incorporating clean alternative fuels and green maritime technologies. As we commemorate PIER71 5th anniversary, we will also strengthen PIER71’s international linkages, expand the search for innovative solutions beyond our shores, and leverage the Port of Singapore as a Living Lab to pilot new ideas”.

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 22 November, 2023

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Wind-assisted

Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

Firm signed a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard “Pacific Sentinel”.

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Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) on Thursday (22 February) said it signed a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard the Pacific Sentinel

The turnkey ‘suction sail’ technology, which drags air across an aerodynamic surface to generate exceptional propulsive efficiency, will be fitted later this year, helping the 183-metre, 50,000 DWT oil and chemical tanker reduce overall energy consumption by approximately 10%, depending on vessel routing.

Suitable for both newbuilds and retrofit projects, the system delivers energy efficiency and cost savings for a broad range of vessels, regardless of their size and age.

Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

José Miguel Bermudez, CEO and co-founder at bound4blue, said: “Signing an agreement with an industry player of the scale and reputation of EPS not only highlights the growing recognition of wind-assisted propulsion as a vital solution for maximising both environmental and commercial benefits, but also underscores the confidence industry leaders have in our proven technology.”

“It’s exciting to secure our first contract in Singapore, particularly with EPS, a company known for both its business success and its environmental commitment.”

“We see the company as a role model for shipping in that respect. As such this is a milestone development, one that we hope will pave the way for future installations across EPS’ fleet, further solidifying our presence in the region.”

Cyril Ducau, Chief Executive Officer at EPS, said: “EPS is committed to exploring and implementing innovative solutions that improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions across our fleet.” 

“Over the past six years, our investments in projects including dual fuel vessels, carbon capture, biofuels, voyage optimisation technology and more have allowed us to reduce our emissions intensity by 30% and achieve an Annual Efficiency Ratio (AER) of 3.6 CO2g/dwt-mile in 2023, outperforming our emission intensity targets ahead of schedule. The addition of the bound4blue groundbreaking wind assisted propulsion will enhance our efforts on this path to decarbonise.”

“With this project, we are confident that the emission reductions gained through eSAILs® on Pacific Sentinel will help us better evaluate the GHG reduction potential of wind assisted propulsion on our fleet in the long run.”

Pacific Sentinel will achieve a ‘wind assisted’ notation from class society ABS once the eSAILs® are installed. 

 

Photo credit: Eastern Pacific Shipping
Published: 23 February, 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Galveston LNG Bunker Port joins SEA-LNG coalition

SEA-LNG said move will further enhance its LNG supply infrastructure expertise and global reach, while giving GLBP access to the latest LNG pathway research and networking opportunities.

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Galveston LNG Bunker Port joins SEA-LNG coalition

Galveston LNG Bunker Port (GLBP), a joint-venture between Seapath Group, one of the maritime subsidiaries of the Libra Group, and Pilot LNG, LLC (Pilot), a Houston-based clean energy solutions company, has joined SEA-LNG, according to the latter on Wednesday (21 February). 

SEA-LNG said the move will further enhance its LNG supply infrastructure expertise and global reach, while giving GLBP access to the latest LNG pathway research and networking opportunities.

GLBP was announced in September 2023 and will develop, construct and operate the US Gulf Coast’s first dedicated facility supporting the fuelling of LNG-powered vessels, expected to be operational late-2026.

The shore-based LNG liquefaction facility will be located on Shoal Point in Texas City, part of the greater Houston-Galveston port complex, one of the busiest ports in the USA. This is a strategic location for cruise ship LNG bunkering in US waters, as well as for international ship-to-ship bunkering and cool-down services. GLBP will offer cost-effective turn-key LNG supply solutions to meet growing demand for the cleaner fuel in the USA and Gulf of Mexico.

Jonathan Cook, Pilot CEO, said: “With an initial investment of approximately $180 million, our LNG bunkering facility will supply a vital global and U.S. trade corridor with cleaner marine fuel. We recognise that SEA-LNG is a leading partner and a key piece of the LNG bunkering sector, and will give us access to insights and expertise across the entire LNG supply chain.

“LNG supports environmental goals and human health by offering ship operators immediate reductions in CO2 emissions and virtually eliminating harmful local emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter.”

President of Seapath, Joshua Lubarsky, said: “We are very pleased to be supporting the decarbonization of the maritime industry through strategic, and much needed, investments into the supply of alternative fuels.  We are also happy to be a part of SEA-LNG which has done a wonderful job in advocating for advancements in technology in this vital sector.”

Chairman of SEA-LNG Peter Keller, said: “We’re proud to welcome another leading LNG supplier to the coalition and are looking forward to a mutually beneficial relationship. With every investment in supply infrastructure in the US and worldwide, the LNG pathway’s head start increases. Global availability, alongside bio-LNG and e-LNG development, makes LNG the practical and realistic route to maritime decarbonisation.

“All alternative fuels exist on a pathway from grey, fossil-based fuels to green, bio or renewable fuels. Green fuels represent a scarce resource and many have scalability issues, so we must start our net-zero journey today with grey fuels. LNG is the only grey fuel that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, well-to-wake, so you need less green fuel than alternatives to improve emissions performance.”

 

Photo credit: SEA-LNG
Published: 23 February, 2024

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Biofuel

VARO and Orim Energy to supply bio bunker fuels in ARA region

VARO will source, produce and blend various waste and advanced bio feedstocks to high quality bunker fuel specs; Orim will source fuel and gas oils for blending and deliver final biofuel blends to vessels.

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VARO and Orim Energy to supply bio bunker fuels in ARA region

VARO Energy (VARO) on Wednesday (21 February) said it is partnering with Orim Energy (Orim) to provide shipping customers in the Port of Rotterdam – and wider Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region - with biofuels. 

The agreement supports the decarbonisation of maritime transportation and inland shipping in Northern Europe. It also contributes to the wider targets set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to reduce the total annual GHG emissions from shipping by at least 20% by 2030 and at least 70% by 2050, compared with 2008 levels.

Current demand for Fuel Oil in ARA , Europe’s largest bunkering hub, is approximately 14 million tonnes per year. Supported by new EU regulations, the market for B30, a blend of 70% Fuel Oil and 30% biofuels, is expected to grow rapidly to the end of the decade. As a result of this joint initiative, VARO and Orim will be well positioned to meet this increased demand and support the decarbonisation plans of their shipping customers.

VARO’s biofuels trading capabilities and growing biofuel manufacturing asset base will complement Orim’s extensive distribution, storage and bunkering capabilities in ARA. Under the agreement, VARO will source, produce and blend various waste and advanced bio feedstocks to high quality bunker specifications. Orim will source the fuel and gas oils for blending and deliver the final biofuel blends to customers’ vessels.

VARO has a long track record of providing biofuels for maritime logistics. Since 2018, the company has supplied the Port of Rotterdam with HVO100 (100% Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil “HVO”) for use with the Port’s service fleet. In 2023 VARO signed an agreement with Höegh Autoliners to supply the company with 100% advanced biofuels for its shipping fleet.

The partnership is aligned with VARO’s strategy to become the partner of choice for customers in the energy transition by providing them with the low-carbon energy solutions they need to decarbonise.

Dev Sanyal, CEO of VARO, said: “Meeting rising demand for blended biofuels is critical to achieving the EU and IMO’s decarbonisation targets for shipping. Our experience in biofuels, combined with Orim’s logistics and bunkering operations, will help meet this demand at Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port facility. I am delighted to be entering into a strategic partnership with Orim and to further build on VARO’s long-established presence in Rotterdam. This is another step in our journey to enable the decarbonisation of the maritime sector.

Edwin Coppens, Managing Director of Orim, said: “Upcoming EU and IMO regulations drive the need to scale up with biofuels and ensure quality assurance going forward. Partnering with VARO allows us to do just that, using each other’s strengths to optimize our blending expertise and network. We will benefit from VARO’s extensive experience with biofuels, which includes joint testing with leading ship engine suppliers. Together, we can increase our sourcing and supply capabilities, extending our reach and further strengthening our position in the ARA region.”

 

Photo credit: VARO Energy
Published: 23 February, 2024

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