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Singapore to Develop Electric Cargo Vessel as Part of Green Plan Goals

Singapore will build the country’s first commercially viable fully electric cargo vessel, complete with interoperable swappable battery infrastructure solutions for the Singapore Port. The Singapore government has awarded funding to a consortium consisting of an energy infrastructure and technology company to develop this innovation as part of its zero-emission plan.

The Goal Zero consortium is one of three that have received grants from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI), according to a statement from the energy infrastructure and technology company. Over the next five years, the three consortiums will conduct research, design, construction, and operation of fully electric harbour craft, according to the statement. The electrification pilot projects will show the commercial and technical viability of specific use cases for fully electric harbour craft.

With the support of the Singapore government through this grant, we are excited to take this next step in our roadmap towards achieving a globally integrated green logistics solution.

Goal Zero is led by a Singapore-based marine design engineering firm that will design and integrate the vessel’s systems. Meanwhile, Goal Zero’s overall programme management and commercialisation will be led by the energy infrastructure and technology company’s wholly-owned unit of green technology.

Goal Zero has the support of Singapore’s maritime and logistics industry partners. According to the executive vice president of the energy infrastructure and technology company, the Goal Zero plan aims to address some of the most pressing issues that vessel owners and operators face when it comes to the adoption of electric vessels. “We are looking to develop a new ecosystem and business model that are significantly more sustainable for the harbour craft industry whilst simultaneously being more commercially attractive for vessel owners and operators.

“For example, swappable battery charging infrastructure could almost completely eliminate vessel charging downtime, and digital twin technology can improve efficiencies that bring down operational costs,” he added. Meanwhile, the company’s group chief strategy officer commented that the energy infrastructure and technology company was looking forward to working with the other consortium members to propel the future-readiness of the region’s marine port segment.

“It is our company’s desire to bring about a more environmentally sustainable marine transport network in alignment with our commitments to mitigate climate change. “With the support of the Singapore government through this grant, we are excited to take this next step in our roadmap towards achieving a globally integrated green logistics solution,” said the group chief strategy officer.

MPA chief executive said, “Electrification has the potential to accelerate the decarbonisation of our local harbour craft industry, so we are pleased to support the joint industry-research consortium named Goal Zero and its key commercial partner in their 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,” she said.

Many ships have already been partially electrified, with 80 % of ocean-going ships now using a diesel-electric transmission system. Diesel generators produce electricity, which powers the electric engine. This causes the ship’s propeller to spin. This has numerous advantages, one of them is that it saves between 5% and 20% of the fuel. Electrical machines also have fewer components, are less prone to faults, and experience less wear and tear. This translates to less energy loss and greater efficiency. However, this is not a hybrid drive system.

This is accurate only if the ship can sail for an extended period of time without using its diesel engines. In this case, the energy is supplied by the onboard batteries. In the future, the electric engine could be powered by other sources of energy, such as rechargeable batteries, liquefied natural gas (LNG), or solar power.

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