Keppel O&M leads development of Singapore’s first comprehensive electric vessel supply chain

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Keppel Offshore & Marine (via its subsidiary, Keppel FELS) together with DNV, Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N), Eng Hup Shipping, Envision Digital, Surbana Jurong and the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS) have formed a coalition to develop Singapore’s first comprehensive electric vessel supply chain by 2025.

The project will include development of a cost-competitive electric-powered harbor craft, nearshore charging infrastructure, as well as upskilling and developing core talent in marine operations. Grants have been secured by Keppel O&M from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) under the Maritime GreenFuture Fund for the research, testing and piloting of low-carbon technologies.

Quah Ley Hoon, chief executive of MPA, said, “Electrification has the potential to accelerate the decarbonization of our local harbor craft industry, so we are pleased to support the joint industry-research consortium led by Keppel in its electric vessel project. This is one of the three consortiums comprising 30 enterprises and research institutions across the value chain that we are supporting under the Maritime GreenFuture Fund.”

Keppel O&M, as the overall systems integrator, says it will leverage its experience in the design, construction and digitalization of vessels to retrofit a 30-pax passenger ferry with systems with electric propulsion. The coalition of partners will then test, trial and operationalize end-to-end solutions for the electric harbor craft.

Chris Ong, CEO of Keppel O&M, noted, “We are pleased to be able to leverage and support the efforts by MPA in the decarbonization of the industry. Keppel O&M will lead the coalition to develop end-to-end electrification solutions for harbor craft, paving the way to make sea transport significantly greener in Singapore. The same electrification solutions can potentially be applied in other segments of the offshore and marine industry and possibly other sectors as well.

“The project augments Keppel O&M’s efforts in providing innovative cleaner energy solutions for the marine sector, such as the pilot of Singapore’s first floating energy storage system on our Floating Living Lab. This is in line with Keppel’s Vision 2030, which places sustainability at the core of its strategy.”

Keppel O&M’s Singapore-based Floating Living Lab will be used to test the electric vessel charging infrastructure, which it says will cost-effectively accelerate the piloting and commercialization of the project. It also facilitates the use of renewable energy such as solar in the charging infrastructure. The company’s proprietary digitalization system, AssetCare, will be used for the lifecycle management of the electric vessels and charging infrastructure.

The project will look to develop marine- and land-based charging infrastructure, interoperable standards for Singapore-wide adoption, and marinized ESS to power harbor craft. It will also leverage cyber-physical modeling and simulation in the development of the electric-powered harbor craft. In addition, the coalition will research and develop advanced technologies, including solid state transformer (SST)-based charging infrastructure with scalability, low footprint and enhanced performance.

In the first phase of the project, the coalition will conduct research and feasibility studies, design and develop the electric vessel and charging infrastructure, as well as retrofit the harbor craft and install the charging stations. The coalition will then conduct trials and seek to scale up the project.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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