For the development of the autonomous tug, Keppel O&M secured a grant of up to SGD 2 million, USD 1.47 million, from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) under its Maritime Innovation and Technology Fund.

This is after Keppel O&M, MPA and the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding in April 2018, in favour of a collaboration to develop autonomous vessels for a variety of applications, undertaking harbour operations such as channelling, berthing, mooring and towing operations.

The project of the automated tug consists of a 65 MT modified tug with retrofitting advanced systems such as position manoeuvring, digital pilot vision, as well as collision detection and avoidance. Also, an onshore command centre will be constructed, that will be responsible for controlling the tug.

Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of MPA commented

Autonomous vessels are the next exciting phase of development in the maritime industry and in Maritime Singapore. Here, we are constantly looking out for the next new technology to pilot and testbed in an effort to develop Maritime Singapore to be more efficient, productive and technologically advanced.

Concluding, Keppel O&M, through Keppel Marine and Deepwater Technology, will collaborate with MPA and TCOMS to develop technologies and be the system integrator for the autonomous solutions.