New Energy Vehicles

04 Mar 2021

Singapore's Union Gas Considers Switch to Electric Charging at Fuel Station

04 Mar 2021  by Reuters   

Singapore fuel distributor Union Gas Holdings Ltd is looking at converting its fuel station to supply electricity from cleaner energy sources such as natural gas, solar and hydrogen, it said on Wednesday.

The move comes after Singapore stepped up its target for electric vehicles and charging stations in a 2030 green plan announced in February.

Union Gas has commissioned a study from builder Surbana Jurong to redevelop its sole fuel station in the island's west, the companies said in a joint statement.

The study will explore options such as adding solar and micro-wind generators, battery storage systems and electric-vehicle charging stations.

To be completed in six months, the study may also include a natural gas-based power generation station, they said.

The aim is to convert it into a "multi-fuel, multi-energy station" that could be replicated elsewhere in southeast Asia, Union Gas' deputy chief executive, Ng Yong Hwee, told Reuters.

Union Gas also plans to work with government agencies and research institutes to test hydrogen-related infrastructure and energy management software at the station.

The company had cash of S$34 million ($25.6 million) at the end of December, up from S$21 million a year earlier, after coronavirus lockdowns drove up demand for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

The company owns 200 vehicles, while its privately owned affiliate, Union Energy Corp, has about 100 more trucks.

Union Gas founder Teo Kiang Ang separately owns Trans-Cab Holdings which has Singapore's second-largest fleet of taxis after ComfortDelGro.

These vehicles would enable Union Gas to evaluate the economics of electric- and hydrogen-powered vehicles versus diesel, Ng said.

"We have the energy sources ... and we have the demand, so that would allow us to testbed it," he said.

The company declined to give timelines and cost estimates for the projects but Ng said it expected electric vehicles and solar power to "take off very fast".

"Hydrogen will take a while as the market is not ready," he added.

Union Gas has a share of more than 50% of the island's LPG market, and it supplies compressed and piped natural gas to industries including shipyards and Rolls Royce's plant in Singapore. ($1=S$1.33) (Reporting by Florence Tan; editing by Clarence Fernandez)

More News