THE MARITIME and Port Authority of Singapore has called for proposals to design full-electric harbour craft for the port of Singapore.

MPA has initiated an expression-of-interest process for parties to present ideas to design and promote adoption of the harbour craft.

Singapore’s Ministry of Transport announced this year that harbour craft and tugboat sectors would need to be capable of achieving net zero by 2050, in line with national net-zero goals.

From 2030, all new harbour craft operating in the Port of Singapore will have to be either fully electric, capable of using B100 biofuel or compatible with net zero fuels such as hydrogen.

There are currently around 1600 harbour craft operating in the port of Singapore, providing marine services such as delivery of ship supplies and bunker as well as towage and launch services.

MPA chief executive Teo Eng Dih said the harbour craft sector is an integral part of the port ecosystem.

“The expression of interest is a significant first step to encourage and support early adopters of e-harbour craft,” he said.

“With common referenced designs and the aggregation of demand, we hope to reduce the upfront premiums and operating costs for new harbour craft. “

Mr Eng Dih said the project would also support development of green financing options and enhance the skills of the maritime workforce.

“We look forward to receiving the proposals and working with like-minded partners to grow the green economy and contribute towards Singapore’s decarbonisation goals.”

MPA intends to promote wider and early adoption of the electric harbour craft by providing engineering reference designs, safety standards and other support for harbour craft companies.

The port authority said the expression of interest would allow MPA to assess and validate proposals for best-in-class harbour craft reference designs.

The EoI also invites 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.

MPA said an aggregated fleet aims to improve utilisation rates, encouraging more companies, especially those with smaller fleet size, to electrify their harbour craft.

The suitability of electrification as a decarbonisation pathway depends on several factors, including the operating profile and energy requirements of the harbour craft.

The EoI will focus on the design and support for transition to electrification of the smaller harbour craft, which are generally in the range of 20 to 40 tonnes in gross tonnage, have an overall length of 10 to 20 metres, and a combined shaft power ranging from 200 to 400 kilowatts.

There are currently about 400 smaller harbour craft deployed in the Port of Singapore.