Singapore Port Authority Issues Expression of Interest For Full-Electric Harbour Craft

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has issued an Expression of Interest (EOI) inviting interested parties to submit proposals to design and promote the adoption of full-electric harbour craft (e-HC) in the Southeast Asian city-state.

Initially, the EOI will focus on the design and support for the 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 have a combined shaft power ranging from 200 – 400 kW. There are currently about 400 of these harbour craft deployed in the Port of Singapore.

To promote wider and early adoption of e-HC, MPA intends to support harbour craft companies by providing e-HC engineering reference designs and safety standards 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 EOI will allow the MPA to assess and validate proposals for the best-in-class e-HC reference designs. These would include design standards and guidelines for vessel structure that is optimised for efficiency, integrated battery management and energy storage systems, and essential safety systems that include emergency back-up, cybersecurity and firefighting capabilities.

Commercial Viability

These reference designs will complement the e-HC engineering knowledge and local capabilities developed by the joint industry-research consortiums supported by MPA and the Singapore Maritime Institute as well as other industry-led collaborations on research and development of e-HC for various use cases.

To facilitate the development of green financing models for the development of the e-HC, 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 sizes, to electrify their harbour craft, while providing efficient and responsive services to meet the needs of ships calling into Singapore. 

There are currently about 1600 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.

Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive of MPA, commented: “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.”