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Singapore Alliance Building Electric Tug and Supply Boat

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

April 14, 2024

Source: CSA

Source: CSA

The Coastal Sustainability Alliance (CSA), an industry collaborative effort led by Kuok Maritime Group (KMG), has announced the start of construction of its first fully electric PXO-series tug (e-tug) and supply boat (e-supply boat) by PaxOcean Group.

The zero-emissions vessels are among the first and largest local electric harbour craft designed for operation in Singapore’s coastal waters. They are targeted for deployment in 2025, ahead of the nation’s goal for all new coastal vessels to be fully electric or operate on low-carbon energy solutions by 2030.

Pacific Workboats (PWPL) has committed to purchasing the e-tug. KMG is investing in the construction and trials of the e-supply boat. While efforts to charter out the e-supply boat are ongoing, commercial interest in the PXO series continues to grow, with several CSA members exploring opportunities to charter these next-generation vessels.

As the PXO series will be deployed from Jurong Port, KMG is collaborating with the port to provide electric charging infrastructure.

Tan Thai Yong, Managing Director, Strategic Projects and Technology, Kuok Maritime Group and Chairperson of the CSA Council, said: “The expansion of the Coastal Sustainability Alliance and the commencement of construction for the PXO e-tug and e-supply boat signify a pivotal growth phase to create new revenue streams and scale the CSA ecosystem globally together with our alliance members.

“The joint contributions by CSA members and the continued support of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) empower us to fast-track our investment commitment of S$20 million to 2025, accelerating this industry-led initiative to decarbonise our coastal ecosystem and advance the green track record for our maritime sector in a commercially sustainable manner.”

The CSA also welcomed nine new members, expanding the alliance to 27 members from the initial seven companies when it was formed in March 2022 under the initial leadership of KMG (which includes key business units: PaxOcean Holdings, Pacific Carriers Limited, and POSH). Other members of the CSA include Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), GenPlus, Jurong Port, Sea Forrest Power Solutions, Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore, TES, Ampotech, Columbia Ship Management Singapore, Green COP, Ken Energy, RMS Marine & Offshore Service, M1, MagicPort, Singapore Institute of Technology, Sinwa Singapore, ST Engineering, and Swift Total Logistics.

The new CSA members include CIMC Energy Storage, DBS, Grant Thornton, Hanhwa Aerospace, KST Maritime, Marina Offshore, Paia Consulting, Siemens Energy, and Transport Capital.

The Alliance is promoting sustainable resource management through e-waste reduction, upcycling and biofuels. Since 2023, CSA has partnered with Green COP to develop and commercialise second-generation biofuels as a transition fuel to reduce emissions from conventional harbour craft. Green COP has secured S$500,000 in angel investment to build a prototype plant to produce biobutanol. The biofuel is made from biomass feedstock and generates fewer emissions than petroleum fuels.

A key part of CSA’s efforts is to seamlessly integrate logistics, fleet operations, battery performance and just-in-time operations for vessels, terminals, and service providers. Utilising advanced technologies in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, the CSA is conducting optimisation simulations with MagicPort on the coastal logistics platform, which is expected to go live by end-2024. This platform will support the PXO e-supply boat in meeting the growing demand from the shipping community for marine logistics optimisation and traffic flow. The e-tug will also explore demand-supply match optimisation to reduce fuel wastage and dead mileage.

Currently, over 50% of components of the PXO vessels are sourced locally. Sea Forrest Power Solutions is in conversation to supply critical components such as motors, battery management systems, and batteries for the e-supply boat.

The CSA aims to partner with the Singapore Association of Shipsuppliers and Services (SASS) to upgrade sustainability competencies within the maritime workforce. To help mid-career switchers and employees upskill and take on new roles, Pacific Workboats is tapping into the MPA and Workforce Singapore’s Career Conversion Programme (CCP) to build new capabilities through skills upgrading and training programs. PWPL’s efforts will contribute to CCP’s targets of benefiting up to 300 individuals, with an initial ten employees to participate in the programme over the next two years.

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