First pilot trial for electric harbour craft charging point launched at Marina South Pier

Electric Harbour Craft Charging Point Pilot Trial Launched at Marina South Pier

After a previous call for proposals (CFP) [1] to develop and operate e-HC charging points at various locations under a two-year pilot scheme, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has launched the first pilot trial for an e-HC charging point at the Marina South Pier (MSP) today.

The partnership of Pyxis Energy Pte Ltd, Pyxis Maritime Pte Ltd, and SP Mobility Pte Ltd was granted access to the charging station at MSP. Pyxis’s fleet of e-HCs at MSP will act as the foundational offtake to guarantee infrastructure optimisation for charging and facilitate the collection of extensive data. The creation of a national master plan, implementation strategy, and national standards for e-HC pricing infrastructure will be aided by the data collection’s insights.

The collaboration between Pyxis and SP Mobility has installed a 150 kW land-based Direct Current fast charger at MSP that features a Combined Charging System 2 plug as part of this test. An e-HC with an estimated 500 kWh battery capacity may be fully charged by this charger in about three hours, allowing it to operate for roughly 50 nautical miles, or roughly 90 km. Like owners of electric vehicles, users of the e-HC charger must use the SP app to scan a QR code and complete the payment.

MPA is developing a Technical Reference (TR) for e-HC charging and battery swapping systems in collaboration with Enterprise Singapore, industry stakeholders, and academics. By mid-April 2024, the draft TR will be prepared for public comment.

“Public-private partnership is key to promote wider adoption of e-HC in Singapore,” stated Capt. M. Segar, MPA Assistant Chief Executive (Operations). This partnership includes improving e-HC vessel and battery designs, supporting the development of a technical standard, lowering financing barriers, and building the charging infrastructure to give users confidence and encourage wider adoption.

“We are delighted to announce the start of charging operations at Marina South Pier for the X Tron, the inaugural vessel from Pyxis’ flagship product line, the Pyxis One series of electric vessels,” stated Mr Tommy Phun, the founder of Pyxis. The Pyxis One, designed especially for the thriving Singapore port industry, transfers passengers between mainland Singapore and ships berthed at the anchorage with ease. By virtue of its well-designed aluminium catamaran hull, effective electric propulsion chain, and Internet of Things-enabled digital ecosystem platform, the Pyxis One pushes the limits of innovation and outperforms conventional diesel vessels in terms of productivity. Apart from fulfilling Singapore’s 2030 and 2050 targets ahead of schedule, electric harbour craft are also anticipated to have lower overall ownership costs than traditional vessels.

“From land to sea, cars to harbour craft, we are committed to leading the decarbonisation of the transport sector,” stated Mr. Dean Cher, Head (Mobility), Sustainable Energy Solutions, SP Group. We are excited to be able to offer the marine industry decarbonisation choices with this first public marine charging station at Marina South Pier. Our relationship with Pyxis will pave the road for a wider adoption of e-HC in Singapore.

Apart from the collaboration between Pyxis and SP Mobility, MPA has also granted recognition to Seatrium O&G (International) Pte Ltd for their creative mobile charging concept and to Yinson Electric Pte Ltd for their high-power (350–450 kW) DC charger proposal. The two businesses and MPA will keep collaborating to refine their applications for use in Singapore.

All new harbour vessels using Singapore’s ports must be entirely electric, able to run on B100 biofuel, or able to run on net zero fuels like hydrogen starting in 2030. Blends up to B50 are already commercially available for biofuels. MPA is developing the standards up to B100 in collaboration with industry.

Following the announcement of an expression of interest for e-HC designs, MPA recently shortlisted 11 ideas for passenger launch and cargo lighter vessels. These designs will be improved even more and gradually commercialised to meet industry demand and assist in bringing down production costs for businesses.

At the Committee of Supply Debate 2024, the enhanced Enterprise Financing Scheme-Green (EFS-Green) was just announced. Owners and operators of harbour ships may apply for loans with a 70% risk share from participating financial institutions starting in April 2024. By the end of 2024, maritime businesses will also have access to the Energy Efficiency Grant, which offers two levels of financing for energy-saving equipment. Up to 70% co-funding for pre-approved energy-efficient domestic port and harbour boat equipment can be obtained by them under the base tier until March 2026. They are eligible to receive up to $350,000 in company funding across both categories.

MPA issued a call for proposals on August 29, 2023, to develop, operate and maintain electric harbour craft points at selected locations in Singapore. At the close of the CFP on October 19, 2023, MPA received a total of 12 proposals from four consortia.

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