Singapore to build sustainable next-generation maritime ecosystem

The Coastal Sustainability Alliance (CSA) is launched on March 14 to accelerate Singapore’s coastal decarbonization, transition to a circular economy and strengthen marine supply chains.

By 2030, the Alliance aims to build the next-generation of Singapore’s maritime ecosystem and accelerate the decarbonization, electrification and advancement in energy-efficient logistics and engineering solutions. The CSA is expected to invest over S$20 million into various sustainability efforts over the next ten years. 

CSA members include the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), GenPlus, Jurong Port Singapore, Sea Forrest, Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS), and TES. 

Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), said: “MPA congratulates all members of the Coastal Sustainability Alliance. We look forward to working closely with the Alliance to develop a sustainable maritime sector, in particular, shaping common standards for charging infrastructure and electric harbor craft and supporting the development of green financing mechanisms and solutions for green harbor craft.” 

The multi-stakeholder effort is centered on five strategic areas: 

  • Reduce carbon emissions by up to 50% with PXO vessel series – The CSA will adopt a suite of 10 innovative technologies designed into the vessels, such as wireless charging, advanced manufacturing and coastal twinning, with more in the pipeline. With a complete redesign of a conceptual, fully electric PXO series of vessels and floating platforms, the PXO vessels will demonstrate improved performance in energy efficiency and operating range, while reducing emissions.  
  • Reduce e-waste and build a comprehensive E-charging infrastructure network – The CSA aims to reduce battery e-wastage by upcycling electric vehicle (EV) batteries into optimized modular battery packs to serve as Energy Storage Systems (ESS) for marine use. In conjunction, a comprehensive network of shore and mobile e-charging points along Singapore’s coastline will enable interoperable shore-to-ship and ship-to-ship charging of the PXO vessels and platforms.  

Collectively, this will be Singapore’s first comprehensive, customized approach to decarbonize the logistics supply chain from vessel redesign, infrastructure and marine services in promoting cleaner and more efficient harbor crafts. It also supports the industry transition to a circular economy with reduced resource use and future-proofing the vessels with environmentally sustainable energy sources, such as solar and tidal.  

  • Reduce marine traffic by 20% through logistics and fleet optimization solutions – Utilizing the range of PXO vessels and mobile coastal platforms, the Alliance targets to reduce Singapore’s coastal marine traffic and improve safety. The reduced congestion will be achieved through fleet optimization and renewal, mobile floating platforms in selected locations in coastal waters off Singapore, and sea and aerial drones for last-mile deliveries to improve operational range and reduce downtime.   
  • Foster a sustainable green supply chain and maritime business ecosystem by supporting the growth of SMEs and start-ups – By engaging the strengths of each Alliance member, the CSA intends to co-create viable innovation and business opportunities with local SMEs and start-ups to build a supply chain of sustainable logistics and engineering innovations, charging infrastructure and capabilities. This is poised to strengthen the competitiveness of the SMEs and uplift the entire value chain of the maritime industry.  
  • Talent attraction and workforce upgrading – A future-ready talent pool is critical to maintaining Singapore as a leading global maritime center. CSA expects to create new jobs, offer career growth opportunities, skills and reskilling training to increase the competitiveness of our Alliance members. The CSA will also work with educational institutions to pursue joint opportunities for young talents.  

 Creating the future E-Vessels: PXO concept vessel 

The first phase of CSA’s efforts is to design and deploy 10 PXO vessels customized for Singapore’s coastal ecosystem by 2025.  

To initiate the PXO design, Master Research Collaboration Agreements (RCAs) were formalized between KSL Maritime Group and A*STAR as well as TCOMS to co-innovate, design and build a full electric vessel customized for Singapore’s maritime coastal ecosystem. The redesigned vessel is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 50%, lower energy consumption, and extend the operating range.  

Using artificial intelligence (AI), a digital twin of the vessel will undergo operational simulations to achieve energy efficiencies for various harbor crafts. Additionally, integrating with TCOMS’ digital twin of Singapore’s port waters will support the predictive optimization of marine traffic, harbor fleets and logistics flow and develop remotely managed vessels and drones in the coastal ecosystem.  

The PXO conceptual redesign is expected to be revealed later this year, with plans to extend the ecosystem internationally from 2027 onwards. 

Photo credit: iStock/ joyt  

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