Singaporean deal looks to advance electrification in CTVs and crewboats
Caterpillar Marine inks MoU with Singaporean aluminium boatbuilder to develop and incorporate battery-hybrid and alternative fuel technologies in workboats and ferries
Singapore-based boatbuilder, Penguin International, will collaborate with Cat engine distributor Tractors Singapore Limited (TSL) on employing emissions-reduction technologies, including batteries and alternative fuels, in crew transport vessels (CTVs) and fast crewboats.
Through a newly signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) the two parties will “help maritime industry customers achieve their decarbonisation goals,” according to Caterpillar Marine vice president and general manager, Brad Johnson, who noted the enginebuilder was working with leading shipbuilders to introduce new hybrid power solutions.
In September, Cat announced a similar agreement with boatbuilder Strategic Marine. Speaking to Riviera Maritime Media regarding the specifics of the deal with Strategic Marine, Mr Johnson said: “Caterpillar has had great success in electrification and alternative fuels in other industries to help companies lower their emissions.” He anticipates using that knowledge “to identify the best applications for the maritime industry and create solutions rooted in those categories with the unique needs of marine operations in mind.”
“Caterpillar has had great success in electrification and alternative fuels”
Since 1995 Penguin International has delivered more than 200 aluminium workboats, patrol craft, passenger ferries and crewboats, including some 150 of its in-house designed Flex vessels and Flex Fighter armoured security boats, many of which have been deployed in West Africa. These crewboats are jointly developed by the company’s integrated in-house shipbuilding and ship management teams in Singapore, backed by more than two decades of experience.
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“Penguin boats set the standard for mid-sized crewboats in the offshore petroleum, windfarm and maritime security industries,” said Penguin International managing director, James Tham. “Teaming up with Caterpillar Marine allows us to support our customers’ energy transition needs through power solutions that employ alternative fuels, hybrid solutions and batteries”.
TSL will oversee the installation and commissioning of the new solutions.
Reflective of owners’ decarbonisation demands, Penguin has been on an electrification journey over the last three years, building and delivering its first passenger vessels and workboats with batteries for Singapore and Europe. In fiscal year 2023 (FY 2023), Penguin delivered Penguin Refresh, a pure-electric commuter ferry and associated shore-power infrastructure, following its delivery of MPA Guardian, Singapore’s first hybrid-electric patrol boat, in FY 2022, and Penguin Tenaga, the country’s first hybrid-electric pilot boat in FY 2020.
Following on these projects, Penguin delivered its first hybrid-electric CTV into Europe, Windea One, to Ems Maritime Offshore in June 2023.
Windea One’s propulsion power is supplied by four Volvo engines, delivering a total of 2,060 kW. It also has Volvo-Danfoss electric motors, each with an output of 180 kW, powered by EST Floattech batteries.
Chartered to windfarm developer and operator, Ørsted, for the Borkum Riffgrund 1 and Godewind 1 and 2 offshore windfarms, the CTV can achieve a maximum speed of 28 knots and can be operated purely on electric power for up to six hours.
Penguin’s goal is to be “the builder of choice among premium European CTV owners”. But it says its CTV margins are currently lower than its crewboat margins because “we are a relatively new entrant to the CTV market and we lack the first-mover advantages which we enjoy in our traditional oil and gas segment.” Still, the boatbuilder expects its CTV margins to improve as it differentiates its WindFlex CTVs with new features and new energy solutions.