Shell [SHEL:LN] has introduced the world’s first electric ferry at its Singapore refinery, as part of its collaboration with Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) on reducing emissions from ships, as reported by Reuters on April 17. Shell Eastern Trading and the MPA has signed a five-year agreement to jointly promote the adoption of electric harbor craft and the development of low- and zero-carbon fuels in Singapore. Shell will focus on expanding the charging infrastructure for electric vessels, while the MPA will work to make spare charging capacity available to other users. Shell plans to put the first electric ferry, Penguin Refresh, into operation in May and another two by August, partly replacing diesel-powered ferries currently in use.
The move is a step towards meeting the MPA’s rule that require all new harbor craft operating in its waters to be electric, run on biofuels, or net-zero fuels by 2030. Singapore’s transport minister, S. Iswaran, praised Shell as an important partner in the country’s efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Shell estimates that the deployment of the three electric ferries, which run on power generated from natural gas, could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 6,200 tons annually. Compared with existing diesel-powered crafts, electric ferries do not emit pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and particulates. Furthermore, they are also quieter in the cabins, providing a more comfortable environment for passengers.