PSA invests in 22 new driverless vehicles

Battery-operated fleet will operate round the clock at Pasir Panjang Terminal

PSA Singapore will add 22 new driverless vehicles to its container terminals next year, it said yesterday.

This will bring the port operator's overall automated guided vehicle (AGV) fleet to 30 at the Pasir Panjang Terminal.

The investment - at an undisclosed sum - is part of PSA's continued efforts in testing and developing advanced port technologies, it said.

The 22 new driverless vehicles, which will operate round the clock, will be used to transport containers between the quay side and the container yard.

They will be battery-powered for zero-emission operations in the port area, in line with PSA's commitment to sustainable business and green port technologies.

An automated guided vehicle or AGV at the Pasir Panjang Terminal. PSA says the fleet of such vehicles will be 30-strong by the second quarter of next year. PHOTO: PSA SINGAPORE

PSA said the vehicles are expected to be delivered in the second quarter of next year, and will join the existing fleet of eight at the Pasir Panjang Terminal, as "part of ongoing initiatives to develop port technology solutions for the future automated Tuas Terminal".

The upcoming mega-terminal in Tuas has been earmarked as the centrepiece of Singapore's Next Generation Port vision.

It will incorporate new features such as automated yard cranes and port equipment to help increase productivity and reduce labour costs.

The port, which entered the first phase of construction in April, will have a total capacity of up to 65 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) when completed over a span of around 30 years.

"Investing in advanced port technologies remains a key element in PSA's development of our terminals in Singapore to meet the challenges of growing consolidation and mega-alliances calling at our port," said Mr Ong Kim Pong, regional chief executive of South-east Asia at PSA International.

"These new fully electric AGVs underline PSA's commitment towards ensuring an environmentally friendly port, as well as to enhance the skills of our people in managing these technologies.

"We look forward to seeing the results of the progress being made by our teams in preparing PSA for the consolidation of container operations at the future Tuas Terminal."

Of the 22 new vehicles, 18 will be delivered by Finland-based Cargotec CHS, while the remaining four will be delivered by France-based Gaussin Manugistique and Japan- based Toyota Industries.

PSA has awarded Singapore firm New Resource Technology the contract to supply three automated DC (direct current) charging stations to facilitate battery-charging for the AGVs.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2016, with the headline PSA invests in 22 new driverless vehicles. Subscribe