One of the world’s most prolific builders of mid-sized crew boats and security boats, Singapore’s Penguin International Ltd has diversified its product range over the last two years, expanding into firefighting boats, patrol boats, ferries and windfarm vessels
It is also electrifying its vessels, meeting owner demands and advancing Singapore’s sustainability goals.
“Penguin is constantly exploring new designs, new markets and new applications,” said Penguin International managing director James Tham. He cited the shipyard’s collaboration on the design of Ventus Formosa, calling it “the world’s first aluminium accommodation and crew change boat for the offshore wind industry.”
Designed by UK-based BMT, the 35-m service accommodation and transfer vessel (SATV) is currently deployed in Taiwan by its owner Ventus Marine, a joint venture between PSA Marine and Taiwanese partner Ta Tong Marine Group.
Unlike crew transfer vessels that serve as ‘point-to-point’ shuttles, 35-m Ventus Formosa is a purpose-built, live-aboard SATV that can accommodate 12 windfarm technicians for a week.
Other innovations from Penguin include the construction of Singapore’s first hybrid-electric pilot boat, due to be launched this month, and the delivery of the first civilian autonomous pilot boat in Q4 2020. For the hybrid pilot boat, Penguin partnered with fellow Singaporean company BOS Offshore & Marine (BOS), a 90%-owned subsidiary of BH Global Corp. Others involved in the consortium are Danfoss, Durapower Technology and Bureau Veritas (BV).
BOS is providing technical and commercial expertise in the development of commercially viable plug-in parallel hybrid-electric propulsion systems (BOS EP System) for small-to-medium sized vessels for operation in and around Singapore.
Penguin is installing the BOS EP System in its hybrid-electric boat and will operate the vessel on commercial routes.
Danfoss and Durapower are supporting the testing and integration of their power drive trains and energy storage systems with the BOS EP System.
BV will review and endorse test facilities and procedures necessary towards certification of the BOS EP System and will class the hybrid-electric boat as a hybrid vessel with the ’ZE’ (zero emission) notation – a first in Singapore.
The effort by the consortium advances Singapore’s ambition of electrifying harbour craft, with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and Singapore Maritime Institute making a request for proposals on 23 September. A total of S$9M (US$6.6M) from the Maritime Green Future Fund is being set aside to co-fund such projects.
In contrast, Penguin’s R&D projects to date are all self-funded.
A natural next step for Penguin is leveraging the technology in the passenger vessel sector, where it is “developing all-electric ferries with a local client, another first in Singapore,” added Mr Tham.
While Covid-19 has roiled supply chains across the globe, Penguin’s Indonesian shipyard at Batam remains open and operational, and at the Tuas yard in Singapore, Penguin has been designated as an ‘Essential Services Company’, remaining operational throughout the pandemic, said Mr Tham.
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