Shell Plc on Monday launched its first electric ferry globally at its Singapore refinery and said it would work with the city-state's port authority to cut emissions from ships.
The move is a step towards meeting the Singapore port authority's rule that all new harbour craft operating in its waters should be electric or run on biofuels or net-zero fuels from 2030.
Shell Eastern Trading has agreed to work with the port authority to develop charging infrastructure for electric harbor craft and conduct research and development for low and zero-carbon fuels over five years, Singapore's Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) said.
The oil giant launched the first of a series of 200-seater electric commuter ferries at its refinery-petrochemical complex on Pulau Bukom on Monday.
The first electric ferry, Penguin Refresh, is scheduled to start operating in May and another two will be put on by August, partly replacing diesel-powered ferries now in use.
The company did not provide cost estimates for the ferries.
With the three new ferries, Shell will save on about 1,952 tonnes (13,838 barrels) a year of diesel and will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 6,258 tonnes a year. Power for the ferries will still be generated by a fossil fuel - natural gas.
MPA said it would work with Shell to make the charging facilities at the company's Bukom plant available for other electric harbour craft users.
The company also plans to run a hydrogen fuel cell trial on a Shell-chartered vessel later this year, Nick Potter, a general manager at Shell Shipping and Maritime, said in a statement.
(Reporting by Jeslyn Lerh; Editing by Sonali Paul)