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Yinson GreenTech, together with Goal Zero consortium partners, launches Hydromover, Singapore’s first fully electric cargo vessel

Yinson GreenTech (“YGT”), a leading green technology solutions provider, together with Goal Zero Consortium (“Goal Zero”) led by SeaTech Solutions (“SeaTech”) officially launched the Hydromover today, marking a critical milestone in the decarbonisation of Singapore’s maritime industry.

The lightweight, 18.5m Hydromover is Singapore’s first fully electric cargo vessel. The vessel is designed with swappable battery solutions and can carry up to 25 tonnes of cargo. It generates zero emissions and can potentially reduce operational costs by up to 50% compared to conventional vessels due to improved energy efficiency and lower maintenance costs.

The vessel was Goal Zero’s submission and one of the proposals under the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) joint Call-for-Proposals for the electrification of harbour craft to be awarded R&D grants from both the MPA Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) Fund and SMI Fund in August 2021. The Hydromover is the first project to be ready for commercial trials, which puts it in an advantageous position in the commercialisation and innovation space.

YGT spearheaded Hydromover’s programme management, system solutions and commercialisation, while its Goal Zero partners were involved in other parts of its development. As lead, Seatech spearheaded the vessel design; Shift Clean Energy was the battery technology partner; RINA Hong Kong Limited Singapore Branch was the classification society; while Lita Ocean was the builder of the Hydromover.

During the ceremony, YGT acknowledged five potential partners who have provided letters of intent to charter the Hydromover for operational trials, with the view to electrify their fleets in future. These are two Goal Zero partners Lita Ocean and DM Sea Logistics, as well as OPL Services, RW Marine Services and Tian San Shipping. The five parties’ combined fleet stands at over 150 vessels, marking significant potential for future conversion to electric vessels.

RINA also handed over the Certificate of Classification to YGT during the event, signifying the Hydromover’s admission to class survey and compliance with RINA Rules for battery-powered vessels. The vessel has also passed an extensive risk assessment relating to battery operation and swapping, ensuring compliance with the most stringent international safety standards in the maritime industry.

The Hydromover will serve as a ‘living lab’ for YGT and Goal Zero’s R&D partners including the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), and the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS), which are working on a holistic digital twin of the vessel. This will facilitate research on the combined effects of variables such as vessel hydrodynamics, propulsion, motor dynamics and battery performance, allowing ship designers and operators to enhance operational efficiency and safety.

The vessel was designed, engineered, and constructed in Singapore, with all major suppliers being local companies. YGT intends to explore more potential partnerships and knowledge sharing within the industry for ongoing enhancements and upgrades to the vessel. This paves the way to elevate Singapore’s expertise for maritime-related green technology and strengthens the city-state’s hub status.

YGT Chief Executive Officer, Mr Eirik Barclay, said: “Being the first to launch a fully electric lighter craft in Singapore marks a transformative moment for YGT. The Hydromover exemplifies what can be achieved through strategic partnerships and alliances with like-minded partners. We are excited to have already received expressions of interest from across the region including Indonesia, where YGT has begun talks with interested parties to deploy the vessel for backwater transportation of goods and electrification of local fishing vessels.

“We are confident of reaping significant advantages from being an early mover in the race to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and we are pleased to already be in talks with supportive financing partners such as UOB and potential equity partners.”

MPA Assistant Chief Executive (Industry and Transformation), Mr Kenneth Lim, said: “I would like to congratulate YGT on the launch of the Hydromover. This is a significant milestone for the Goal Zero Consortium which had responded to previous MPA -SMI Joint call-for-proposals for the electrification of harbourcraft. The knowledge and capabilities gained through the development of the electric lighter craft will certainly add to the industry’s understanding of electric harbourcraft designs and technology options for cargo transport vessels. MPA looks forward to work with more like-minded partners, including research agencies and financial institutions, to accelerate the decarbonisation of the harbour craft fleet in Singapore.”

SeaTech, Vice President Technology, Mr Prabjot Chopra, said: “Congratulations to YGT on the launch of the Hydromover. We are proud to lead the Goal Zero Consortium and design this pioneering electric lighter craft. This marks a pivotal moment in Singapore’s journey towards the electrification of harbor craft. We celebrate with YGT this significant achievement and foresee the Hydromover to be a catalyst in Singapore’s pursuit of a greener harbour. We wish the Hydromover fair winds and following seas on its voyages ahead!”

Mr Eric Lian, Head of Group Commercial Banking, UOB, said: “The launch of the Hydromover will drive the revolution of cargo transportation in the maritime industry. As the lead bank to finance YGT’s development of the prototype, we are pleased to support this achievement, and the efforts of MPA and SMI to promote sustainability through innovative green projects. We stay committed to work towards our national goal of decarbonising the maritime industry, to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.”