Shell, D’Crypt go live with Singapore’s first contact tracing device 

D’Crypt, a Temasek-owned security engineering company, is piloting with Shell Singapore a project to deploy specially modified BluePass devices for COVID-19 contact tracing for the latter’s employees, contractor workers and other visitors at Pulau Bukom.

A total of 4,000 pieces of these modified BluePass devices will be distributed for this pilot which is expected to run until March.

As current versions of the contact tracing device are not certified intrinsically safe for use in environments where flammable gases may be present, this is the first time that a modified version will be tested in a live process plant environment. If successful, this pilot could pave the way for the modified devices’ use across the process industry in Singapore and abroad.

D’Crypt’s BluePass is a small and light wearable contact tracing device that exchanges proximity information with other BluePasses or interoperable devices via Bluetooth Low Energy technology, and stores that information for a stipulated period for contact tracing purposes. BluePass safeguards user privacy by not tracking location information.

Shell has evaluated the modified BluePass devices for their safe use at the process areas in the manufacturing site at Pulau Bukom using IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) standards commonly referenced by process industry companies worldwide, as well as guidance from EEMUA (Engineering Equipment and Materials Users Association) and EI (Energy Institute).

The evaluations included the ruggedness of the body of the modified BluePass device, protection from user tampering or maltreatment, the power source and size of the battery, as well as the energy level transmitted during use.

Hugues Bourgogne, Shell’s VP for manufacturing in Singapore and Philippines and also general manager of Bukom, said the contact tracing of individuals within the process areas currently can take hours, which slows down the process of identifying and isolating close contacts. 

“The enablement of prompt contact tracing for process industry workers in Singapore will substantially mitigate the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak in the community,” said Bourgogne. “Through this pilot of the modified BluePass devices, we are glad that Shell Singapore can play a role in enabling Singapore’s economic activities to ramp up while keeping our workers safe from COVID-19.”

Once the pilot is completed, D’Crypt and Shell will proactively share results – both in terms of effective contact tracing and BluePass’ suitability for use in live process plant environments − with the process industry in Singapore.