PETALING JAYA: Yinson Holdings Bhd’s green technology division Yinson Green Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd (YGT) together with its Goal Zero consortium partners, has started the construction of the Hydromover, a fully electric cargo vessel with swappable batteries.

The pilot vessel is slated to be launched by the second quarter of 2023 and ready for commercialisation in the second half of 2024.

Developed by Goal Zero, the lightweight, 18.5m Hydromover is able to carry cargo up to 25 tonnes (including batteries). The vessel, being all-electric, has zero emissions and targets to achieve up to 50% operational cost savings due to improved energy efficiency and lower maintenance costs. Its battery, when depleted, can be easily swapped within minutes to minimise operational downtime. It will also be equipped with advanced vessel management system to provide seamless control to the crew as well as state-of-the-art sensors to enable future readiness of autonomous operation.

The Hydromover was Goal Zero’s submission, and one of the three winning proposals announced by Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Singapore Maritime Institute, to develop and commercialise an all-electric cargo vessel with interoperable swappable battery infrastructure solutions. The call for proposals had attracted participation from 73 companies and 10 institutes of higher learning. The consortiums with the winning proposals were given five years to launch their pilot vessels.

YGT spearheads the project’s overall programme management and commercialisation, while ship design consultancy Seatech Solutions International Pte Ltd leads Goal Zero in vessel design and system integration. They are joined by Shift Clean Energy as battery technology partner; Rina Hong Kong Ltd Singapore Branch as classification society; Singapore Institute of Technology and Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine Singapore developing the operational profiles of different harbour craft types through digital twinning of the project.

Yinson new ventures and technology executive vice-president Eirik Barclay said Goal Zero is made up of like-minded and synergistic partners who are committed to helping the marine industry transition to net zero.

“We are looking forward to launching our pilot vessel by the second quarter of 2023, way in advance of the original five-year schedule planned for the program. This not only gives Goal Zero a head start to roll-out our all-electric cargo vessel, but it is also an important contribution to Singapore’s goals for all domestic harbour crafts to operate on low-carbon energy solutions by 2030 and to halve carbon emissions from these vessels by 2050,” he said in a statement.