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Electric Dream: Shell partners local firm to launch S’pore’s first fully-electric ferry service

shell electric ferry

Shell has awarded a contract to Singapore company, Penguin International Limited, to design, build and operate at least three fully-electric ferries.

When operational, these will be the first fully-electric ferry service in Singapore and a first for Shell globally.

Expected to set sail in the first half of 2023, the new 200-seater single-deck Electric Dream ferries will be used to transport passengers between mainland Singapore to Shell’s Energy and Chemicals Park on Bukom island, replacing the conventional diesel-powered ferries currently used.

The fully-electric ferries are powered by a lithium-ion battery system with a capacity of 1.2 MWh and run at speeds of over 20 knots with zero emissions and noise.

When berthed at Shell Bukom, the ferries will be charged via a combination of fast charging during peak hours, and slow charging during off-peak hours and overnight.

James Than, managing director of Penguin International Limited, said that the privately-funded project is much more than just electric ferries and shore chargers. It is in fact, Singapore’s first real-world commercial application of marine electrification.

“Shipping’s future will involve different parts of the sector using different fuels, and electrification is a solution to decarbonise short voyages, including port operations, added Nick Potter, general manager of Shell Shipping and Maritime, Asia Pacific & Middle East.

“Switching to zero-emission, fully-electric ferries is part of Shell’s ambition to help accelerate progress towards net-zero emissions in the shipping sector.”

Earlier in April, Shell announced that it will collaborate on a feasibility study to trial the use of hydrogen fuel cells for ships, the first of its kind for Shell and in Singapore.

If successful, it would help pave the way for cleaner, hydrogen-powered shipping. Shell’s analysis points to hydrogen with fuel cells as the zero-emissions technology which has the greatest potential to help the shipping sector achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.


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Featured Image Credit: Incat Crowther UK

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