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DNV Decarbonisation Insights: Singapore speeds up maritime decarbonisation

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1 MBS at night source Nikos Spaeth scaled

A review of APM and SMW

If there is one country in the world – and a small one at that – which has grasped the challenge of accelerating the decarbonisation of the maritime industry, it is Singapore. And so it should, as it is consistently rated as the world’s leading bunkering hub, as well as the second busiest port in terms of container throughput.

But there is more to that. The Leading Maritime Cities of the World report, compiled in cooperation between DNV and Menon Economics, provides insights into which global hubs offer the best infrastructure, technology, finance, and world-class talent, to help the maritime community to connect and prosper.1

The report benchmarks each maritime city based on five key pillars – Shipping, Maritime Finance and Law, Maritime Technology, Ports and Logistics, and Attractiveness and Competitiveness. The 2022 analysis uses some new and more comprehensive objective and subjective indicators, as well as data sources, to facilitate a more refined benchmarking of the relative performance of each city. 

Through all this, Singapore retains the number one spot overall, ahead of Rotterdam, London, Shanghai, and Tokyo.

2 LMC 2022 ranking source DNV
Ranking of the Leading Maritime Cities of the World 2022 report (source: DNV)

If it is not enough to come out on top in such an authoritative and independent global assessment, maybe the high level of international, regional, and local attendance at two recent maritime industry events in the island city-state confirms how significant Singapore’s role is for port operators, ship-owners, charterers and everyone else associated with shipping. 

In-person vibes at APM and SMW

The three-day Asia Pacific Maritime exhibition and conference at Marina Bay Sands in March recorded more than 7,000 trade attendees, a total of 286 exhibitors from 27 countries and regions, while also bringing together country pavilions from Australia, Germany, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, The Netherlands, and United Kingdom.2

As the largest maritime in-person event after two years of pandemic constraints, 60 thought leaders and subject matter experts joined panel discussions for a long-awaited face-to-face experience. 

“Decarbonisation: Are we heading in the right direction?” was the title of a lively session at the event. “Yes, but we have to move faster,” insisted panellist Dr Shahrin Osman, the Regional Head of Maritime Advisory at DNV, who is also the Director of the classification society’s Maritime Decarbonisation & Autonomy Centre of Excellence. He pointed out that the whole shipping ecosystem must get “future fuel ready” and stakeholders must move together in a transparent fashion. 

Dr Sanjay Kuttan, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD), reinforced the importance of collaboration. He also stressed that “there’s no silver bullet and not one single solution.”3

When mentioning a multi-fuel future scenario, he reminded the audience that GCMD and DNV have already embarked on a safety study for the use of ammonia as a bunkering fuel in Singapore.4

3 Sanjay Kuttan of GCMD speaking at APM source APM

Sanjay Kuttan, CTO of the GCMD, speaking at Asia Pacific Maritime in March 2022 (source: APM)

And this was just the start of an industry debate on the importance of decarbonisation. 

The word seemed to be on everyone’s lips at the next major series of shipping events that formed Singapore Maritime Week (SMW), organized by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) from 4 to 8 April.  

Words were quickly backed by concrete actions.

On the first day of SMW, Singapore’s Minister for Transport and Minister-in-Charge of Trade Relations, Mr S. Iswaran, announced that Singapore – together with 22 signatory states – is joining the Clydebank Declaration for Green Shipping Corridors, an initiative to support the establishment of both green shipping corridors and zero-emission maritime routes between ports.5 

“Looking ahead, decarbonisation is a major challenge for the maritime industry. We must act – today and together. As a global maritime hub, Singapore seeks to contribute to this critical effort in a flexible and inclusive way,” Minister Iswaran said.

The Maritime Singapore Decarbonisation Blueprint

Reinforcing Singapore’s leadership role in maritime decarbonisation was Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, Mr Heng Swee Keat. When delivering the SMW keynote address, he drew attention to the Maritime Singapore Decarbonisation Blueprint launched by the Government only a month earlier. Under this initiative, the Government will invest at least 300 million S$ over the next ten years in reducing emissions for the maritime industry.

4 Maritime Singapore Decarbonisation Blueprint source MPA
Key elements of the Maritime Singapore Decarbonisation Blueprint (source: MPA)

“The Blueprint was developed after in-depth consultations with the industry and recognises the need to green every segment of the supply chain – from our vessels to our port and marine bunkering infrastructure,” he explained.6

“It has ambitious goals, which include making our ports net zero and reducing harbour craft emissions significantly by 2050,” Minister Heng said. 

He made it clear that Singapore is also seeking to contribute towards the international maritime green transition.

GCMD adds more partners

Minister Heng referred to the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD), which brings together industry partners, researchers, and MPA to drive R&D and to pilot novel decarbonisation solutions. Its funding was made possible through an initial S$120 million contribution from the government and six like-minded industry partners.

GCMD played a prominent role at SMW, announcing that it had brought on board four additional partners – bp, Boston Consulting Group, Chevron, and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) – adding to its six founding partners, namely BHP, BW, DNV Foundation, Eastern Pacific Shipping, Ocean Network Express and Sembcorp Marine. Earlier this year, Hapag-Lloyd had already joined the Centre as strategic partner, while partnership agreements were also signed with the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), the Mærsk McKinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, as well as the Global Maritime Forum (GMF).7

5 SMW Marine Money panel source Marine Money
Marine Money panellists, including Bo Cerup-Simonsen, Professor Lynn Loo, and Cristina Saenz de Santa Maria (source: Marine Money)

A prominent speaker participating in person at SMW was Bo Cerup-Simonsen, the CEO of the Mærsk McKinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, who stressed the need for more “visible leadership” in the global maritime industry to show and to reinforce the necessity to get to Net Zero.  

Referring to the partnership agreement signed with GCMD, he said: “We are facing a systemic and industry-wide transformation, and by collaborating, we are significantly increasing our chances for accelerating the transition. We need all hands-on deck, and this partnership is great news for the mission we are on – we are eager to collaborate on selected projects.” 

When asked about the challenges the maritime industry faces, Professor Lynn Loo, CEO of GCMD, said: “I see them as opportunities”. She also underlined the importance of safety when introducing alternative fuels like ammonia. “That’s why we’re committed to focus on conducting pilots.” 

Further decarbonisation initiatives

Minister Heng, in his keynote address, also noted the recent formation of the Coastal Sustainability Alliance (CSA), a partnership initiated by Kuok (Singapore) Limited Maritime Group to support the electrification of Singapore’s harbour crafts by jointly investing in a network of charging points for electric boats.8

Other international programmes he mentioned include:

  • The Future Fuel Port Network formed by Singapore, Japan, and the Port of Rotterdam Authority to develop a roadmap for the adoption of cleaner marine fuels.
  • The Castor Initiative, of which Singapore is a member. It acts as a multinational coalition across the entire maritime ecosystem, aiming to design, build, and commission the world’s first ammonia-fuelled tanker by 2025.

Representing container shipping, Jeremy Nixon, CEO at Ocean Network Express (ONE), urged the global industry to move faster to make green fuels available sooner and to produce more ships – or adapt existing vessels – able to safely utilise fuels like green ammonia and hydrogen. 

During the week, his company, ONE, announced the successful completion of its third trial of marine biofuel onboard the Singapore-flagged vessel NYK Fuji, noting that the use of green fuel such as biofuel will help to reduce carbon footprint to achieve its environmental sustainability target of net zero emission by 2050.

DNV Group President and CEO joins IAP

Illustrating the importance of public-private partnerships in the maritime world, the newly introduced Maritime International Advisory Panel (IAP), chaired by Minister Iswaran, held its inaugural meeting during SMW.9

Among those who flew in especially for the event was Mr Remi Eriksen, Group President and CEO of DNV, one of the 12 maritime industry leaders appointed to the IAP. 

The Maritime IAP highlighted three key trends that would shape the future of a resilient and sustainable supply chain:

  • Reconfiguration of supply chains through diversification, regionalisation, and disintermediation.
  • Technological advancements, such as digitalisation and automation.

Growing importance of sustainability as countries, corporations and consumers demand a decisive response to climate change.10

6 Quah Ley Hoon speaking at SMW
Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of MPA, on stage during SMW (source: MPA)

MPA goes green

Ms Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of MPA, who prominently featured in the week-long series of events, heavily stressed the need for funding to drive the decarbonisation process in Singapore and beyond. 

She drew attention to MPA’s work on a maritime green finance strategy in pursuit of the twin goals of developing Singapore as an International Maritime Centre (IMC) and as a leading Centre for Green Finance in Asia. It is planned to raise awareness of green finance programmes through industry sharing sessions and to explore the development of a standard taxonomy.11

In addition, MPA will continue to identify opportunities to widen and deepen the range of financing solutions in Singapore while creating platforms to match projects to appropriate financing. 

Furthermore, MPA signed three Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) with green shipping consortiums on the ammonia value-chain, with the aim of establishing ammonia bunkering in Singapore on and/or off-shore.

DNV and BHP extend partnership

Among the many agreements signed during SMW, a particularly significant one was the renewed MoU between DNV and BHP to further improve safety and to accelerate the decarbonisation of maritime transport. This partnership sees the two organizations collaborating closely to explore technical projects in the areas of digitalization, operational efficiency, and alternative fuels.12

One of the immediate projects under this framework includes the recently announced implementation of DNV’s independent cloud platform Veracity to enable BHP’s goal of achieving net zero Scope 3 maritime emissions by 2050.

Signing the MoU at the BHP office in Singapore was Rashpal Singh Bhatti, Vice President, Maritime and Supply Chain Excellence at BHP, and Remi Eriksen, Group President and CEO of DNV.

7 BHP DNV MoU Signing source BHP
Remi Eriksen, DNV, and Rashpal Singh Bhatti, BHP, signing a renewed MoU to improve maritime safety and accelerate decarbonisation (source: BHP)

To round up the many developments in Singapore’s recent maritime decarbonization journey, we give the last word to DNV Maritime Regional Manager Cristina Saenz de Santa Maria, who actively participated as a panellist at a number of SMW conference sessions.

“We have a robust ecosystem in Asia, especially in Singapore where there is a focus on collaboration and fostering public and private partnerships to move the needle on decarbonisation,” she said. “We must work together and start now! Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good – we have good solutions today that can take us along the journey.”

References:

[1] DNV: The Leading Maritime Cities of the World 2022
[2] Asia Pacific Maritime 2022 Closes On A High Note
[3] Ocean Outlook, ABC Carbon Express
[4] DNV selected to lead pioneering ammonia bunkering safety study in Singapore
[5] Singapore to join Clydebank Declaration on green shipping corridors
[6] SMW 2022: Minister highlights ‘decisive green transition’ in keynote address
[7] GCMD signs on 4 new partners during Singapore Maritime Week
[8] Kuok (Singapore) Limited Maritime Group launches Coastal Sustainability Alliance
[9] SMW 2022: Minister chairs Maritime International Advisory Panel meetings
[10] MPA: Cross-sector Collaborations Critical to Strengthen Connectivity, Resilience and Sustainability of Global Maritime Industry and Supply Chains
[11] MPA: Global Maritime Industry Players Gathered at Maritime Services Leaders Forum to Discuss the Impact of Digitalisation and Decarbonisation on Maritime Services Sectors
[12] DNV and BHP signed renewed MoU in Singapore

Published: 6 May, 2022

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Environment

Singapore: Allision between dredger and bunker tanker was not caused by port congestion, says Transport Minister

‘Investigations are still on-going, but preliminary findings show that the allision on 14 June was caused by the dredger experiencing sudden loss of engine and steering controls,’ says Chee Hong Tat.

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Singapore: Allision between dredger and bunker tanker was not caused by port congestion, says Transport Minister

The allision between Netherlands-registered dredger VOX MAXIMA and stationary bunker tanker MARINE HONOUR on 14 June was not caused by port congestion, Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat said on Tuesday (18 June). 

Netherlands-flagged dredger Vox Maxima crashed into a stationary Singapore-flagged bunker vessel Marine Honour on 14 June, causing oil from the bunker vessel’s cargo tank to spill into Singapore waters. 

Chee said some members of the public have asked if this incident was due to congestion in our port waters.

“Investigations are still on-going, but preliminary findings show that the allision on 14 June was caused by the dredger experiencing sudden loss of engine and steering controls,” he said a social media post.

“It is not due to port congestion as our port waters and anchorages are not congested. The earlier reports on delays experienced by container vessels are a separate matter that is due to the bunching of container vessels arriving at PSA.”

Chee added it will take time for Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to complete the full investigations and progressively clean up the oil spill. 

“We seek the understanding of members of the public and businesses who are affected by this incident. We will do our best to complete the clean up as soon as possible.”

Manifold Times previously reported MPA stating that it saw large increases in container volumes and the “bunching” of container vessel arrivals over the previous months due to supply chain disruptions in upstream locations.

Later, MPA confirmed that since the beginning of 2024, Singapore saw a significant increase in vessel arrivals.

In the first four months of 2024, MPA said the monthly average tonnage of container vessel arrivals reached 72.4 million gross tonnage (GT). This is an increase of more than one million GT per month, compared to the same period last year. 

On 20 June, in a joint statement, authorities said the northern part of the Pasir Panjang Container Terminal (PPT) is cleared of oil slicks following the deployment of the Current Buster, an oil recovery and containment system, since 18 June. 

Thorough cleaning of the oil-stained Berth 36 near the allision area using high-pressure jets is on-going.

PPT was the location of the oil spillage following the 14 June allision between Netherlands-registered dredger VOX MAXIMA and stationary bunker tanker MARINE HONOUR. 

“The deployment of the Current Buster at this upstream location is important to prevent surface oil from flowing westwards towards West Coast Park which is unaffected till date, and also eastward towards downstream locations, including Sentosa beaches, Sentosa Cove, Southern Islands, and Keppel Marina,” authorities, including MPA, said.  

Three Current Buster systems have been deployed. Two systems capable of five tonnes of recovered oil per load are deployed off western affected areas at PPT and Sentosa. The other system capable of 35 tonnes load is deployed off eastern affected areas off East Coast and Changi East as a precaution to recover any oil and prevent further spread. Another 35 tonnes-load Current Buster system will be deployed shortly.

Total length of booms deployed since 14 June is 3400 meters. This is more than the approximate 3100 meters originally planned.

Note: The full statement by Singapore authorities including progress of the shore clean-up effort can be found here

Related: Singapore: Oil spill cleanup after allision between dredger “Vox Maxima” and bunker tanker “Marine Honour”
Related: Singapore sees large increases in container volumes, bunkering activities remain unaffected
Related: MPA reports ‘significant increase’ in vessel arrivals in Singapore

 

Photo credit: Singapore Transport Ministry / Chee Hong Tat
Published: 20 June, 2024

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Methanol

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding receives orders for Japan’s first methanol-fuelled RoRo cargo ship duo

Two ships will be built at the Enoura Plant of MHI’s Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Yamaguchi Prefecture, with scheduled completion and delivery by the end of fiscal 2027.

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Mitsubishi Shipbuilding receives orders for Japan's first methanol-fuelled RoRo cargo ship duo

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., a part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group, on Wednesday (19 June) said it has received orders from Toyofuji Shipping and Fukuju Shipping for Japan's first methanol-fueled roll-on/roll-off (RORO) cargo ships. 

The two ships will be built at the Enoura Plant of MHI's Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Yamaguchi Prefecture, with scheduled completion and delivery by the end of fiscal 2027.

The ships will be approximately 169.9 meters in overall length and 30.2 meters in breadth, with 15,750 gross tonnage, and loading capacity for around 2,300 passenger vehicles.

A windscreen at the bow and a vertical stem are used to reduce propulsion resistance, while fuel efficiency is improved by employing MHI's proprietary energy-saving system technology combing high-efficiency propellers and high-performance rudders with reduced resistance. 

The main engine is a high-performance dual-fuel engine that can use both methanol and A heavy fuel oil, reducing CO2 emissions by more than 10% compared to ships with the same hull and powered by fuel oil, contributing to a reduced environmental impact. 

In the future, the use of green methanol(2) may lead to further reduction in CO2 emissions, including throughout the lifecycle of the fuel. Methanol-fueled RORO ships have already entered into service as ocean-going vessels around the world, but this is the first construction of coastal vessels for service in Japan.

In addition, the significant increase in vehicle loading capacity and transport capacity per voyage compared to conventional vessels will provide greater leeway in the ship allocation schedule, securing more holiday and rest time for the crew, thereby contributing to working style reforms.

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, to address the growing needs from the modal shift in marine transport against the backdrop of CO2 reductions in land transportation, labor shortages, and working style reforms, will continue to work with its business partners to provide solutions for a range of societal issues by building ferries and RORO vessels with excellent fuel efficiency and environmental performance that contribute to stable navigation for customers.

 

Photo credit: Mitsubishi Shipbuilding
Published: 20 June, 2024

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EU ETS

VPS and Normec Verifavia to offer data-driven and verified emissions data

Both firms signed a partnership agreement with Normec Verifavia to support improved vessel data for MRV / EU ETS reporting and beyond.

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VPS and Normec Verifavia to offer data-driven and verified emissions data

Marine fuels testing company VPS on Monday (17 June) said it has signed a partnership agreement with Normec Verifavia to support improved vessel data for MRV / EU ETS reporting and beyond. 

In the face of tightening regulations and focus, VPS said large parts of the maritime industry are in the midst of stepping up their efforts to collect high-quality emissions data from vessel operations. 

“To meet this demand, VPS and Normec Verifavia will offer vessel owners and the wider maritime ecosystem to have indisputable emission numbers produced in a data-driven way,” the firm said.

“For vessel owners, this ensures compliance with upcoming MRV and EU ETS requirements where reported emission numbers need to be verified by a certified verification body.”

The partnership will combine the strengths that VPS have in data-driven decarb and Normec Verifavia´s position as an agile and independent third-party data verifier. The two companies offer a plug-and-play setup, where the vessel owner can experience a seamless and integrated experience in the handling and verification of fleet fuel- and emission numbers. 

 The first step of the partnership is to offer verification for VPS customers using the Maress system for data-driven decarbonisation. Maress is a leading tool in the offshore industry, handling the complexities around fuels- and emissions optimization and assisting crew and onshore personnel in making informed decisions on how to reduce vessel and fleet footprint. Maress is used by a diverse set of stakeholders in the offshore sector, such as vessel owners, contractors, management companies, charterers and more.  

Further, VPS also offers the Emsys technology for precise and real-time measurement of the emissions going through the vessel smokestack. This data can be fed directly to Maress and subsequently verified by Normec Verifavia to provide full control of all aspects of the fuels- and emissions related to vessel operations.

Jan Wilhelmsson, COO, Digital & Decarbonisation of VPS

Jan Wilhelmsson, COO, Digital & Decarbonisation of VPS

Jan Wilhelmsson, COO, Digital & Decarbonisation of VPS, said, "We see a rapid development where the market is no longer willing to take the risk of not knowing -precisely- what the emissions from operations are. We are excited about the fact that the partnership with Normec Verifavia enables all Maress users to get their emission numbers verified. It will literally be a one stop shop for data collection, analytics, collaboration and verified emission reporting."

Yuvraj Thakur, Managing Director & VP Commercial, Normec Verifavia, said: “The maritime industry faces a crucial challenge: achieving transparency and driving progress towards a decarbonised future. Normec Verifavia's collaboration with VPS represents a significant step forward in this direction.”

“By leveraging their expertise in data-driven decarbonization tools like Maress, we can empower asset owners to streamline the entire emissions data lifecycle. This will not only enhance the accuracy of reported data but also significantly reduce the administrative complexities faced by many stakeholders. This collaborative effort strengthens the foundation for a more sustainable maritime industry.”

The ability for Maress customers to verify emission numbers will be immediately commercially available.

Photo credit: VPS
Published: 20 June, 2024

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