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DNV overview on SMW 2023: Singapore charts forward in the maritime transition

Remi Eriksen of DNV Group, shared during event, the business case for decarbonization must involve four key factors including alternative bunker fuels once safety guidelines and bunkering infrastructure are established.




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After a four-year hiatus, Sea Asia 2023 returned to the sunny shores of Singapore with a bang! Widely regarded as one of the most important maritime events in Asia, the trade fair was held alongside the annual Singapore Maritime Week (SMW) between 24 – 28 April 2023.

Themed ‘Ambition Meets Action,’ SMW 2023 spotlighted the need for collective action to achieve the industry’s ambition for innovation, decarbonization, and talent. The event’s focus was strongly aligned with DNV’s own agenda to support decarbonization and digitalization in the mission to make the world safer, smarter and greener.

Record attendance of 20.000 participants

SMW saw participation from international maritime companies, stakeholders and decision-makers in a series of about 50 conferences and seminars, which ran in parallel with the Sea Asia 2023 exhibition at Marina Bay Sands. According to the organizers, the show was the largest to date, with 20.000 participants and more than 300 exhibitors from 70 countries.

As sponsors of Sea Asia 2023, it was an action packed few days for DNV, with the leadership team, including Group President and CEO Remi Eriksen, participating in several notable conferences, signing ceremonies and meetings with partners and customers.

On the first day of SMW, the 5th Annual Capital Link Singapore Maritime Forum underscored the importance of high-level industry involvement to address global maritime issues and ambitions.

This was evident in the panel on “Fleet renewal Options and Strategies – Positioning for Long term Competitiveness”, moderated by Cristina Saenz de Santa Maria, Regional Manager South East Asia, Pacific & India at DNV Maritime.

It paid due attention to today’s challenges for existing fleet owners and operators, as much as looking at what’s required for the global industry to be “future ready”.

The panel agreed that a combination of solutions is available now – smart navigational aids and fuel efficiency measures, for example – which can address current challenges, as well as help the industry to decarbonize and make it through the very necessary energy transition.

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The 5th Annual Capital Link Singapore Maritime Forum discussed “Fleet renewal Options and Strategies”

Fergus Eley, Head of Maritime Enterprise for BHP, said his company is already delivering on decarbonization, by employing technology and commercial solutions to improve the global supply chain, while Shmuel Yoskovitz, Chief Executive Officer, X-Press Feeders, made a strong call for much closer industry collaboration to deal with current and future challenges: “Ship owners and operators must work together.”

Fellow panelist Yvette van der Sommen, Director Asia Pacific at Value Maritime, saw the future for shipping where a mix of technologies and fuels will be fully utilized, including her company’s very own CO₂ capture and storage solution, while Hing Chao, Executive Chairman, Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings, agreed that the industry should capitalize on CO₂  “as a highly valuable resource” as the maritime sector joins the circular economy and makes the energy transition at the same time.

Stamatis Tsantanis, Chairman and CEO of Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp, questioned whether the industry was doing enough to deal with existing fleets. Before the global industry introduces new and alternative fuels, he insists it must work on improving the current performance of vessels operating.

First ammonia ship to ship transfer pilots on the horizon

One of the highlights of Singapore Maritime Week 2023 was the launch of the comprehensive study “Safety and Operational Guidelines for Piloting Ammonia Bunkering in Singapore” by the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) and its appointed consultant DNV Maritime Academy, supported by Surbana Jurong (SJ) and the Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA).

The study represents Singapore’s global leadership for considering in depth, the viability of ammonia as a future fuel for the international maritime industry, and how the most important bunkering port in the world could introduce ammonia in the safest and most efficient manner.

While there’s a full report on the study in Manifold Times, here’s what Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of DNV Maritime, had to say about it: “Ammonia holds potential for a future maritime fuel and thus one pathway for the maritime industry’s decarbonization journey. This project will help lay the safety considerations for ammonia bunkering.

“Safety lies at the heart of the guidelines that DNV helped to develop for this pilot in Singapore. Further pilots and studies are key to understand, assess and mitigate safety risks associated with using ammonia fuel onboard the global fleet.”

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CEOs sharing their vision on “Delivering Net-Zero”, with DNV Group President and CEO Remi Eriksen on the right

Key factors for accelerating decarbonization

Besides this significant announcement, there were many other notable highlights of Singapore Maritime Week (SMW), including the attendance and involvement of Remi Eriksen, DNV Group President and CEO.

He played a prominent role in the session on “Accelerating Decarbonization”, where a number of CEOs shared their vision on “Delivering Net-Zero”.

Mr Eriksen believes the business case for decarbonization must involve four key factors:

  • Electrification of as many (shortsea) vessels as possible, running on renewable energy/batteries
  • Well-maintained ships, applying fuel efficiency devices
  • Alternative fuels, like hydrogen and ammonia, once we’ve established safety guidelines and the bunkering infrastructure
  • Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) to help get the sector towards net zero

When asked to sum up the session, Mr Eriksen put it this way:

“We know where we have to go. There’s no time to waste. We need to move fast.”

Advancing the multi-fuel transition

Mr Eriksen also participated as a member of the Maritime International Advisory Panel (IAP), which held its second annual meeting during Singapore Maritime Week.

The Maritime IAP meeting recognized that decarbonization of the maritime sector should not be viewed in isolation, rather synergistically across different sectors and with each country’s domestic clean energy strategy.

Among other solutions, the IAP panel recommended that governments and the maritime industry could work with adjacent sectors, such as aviation and energy, to aggregate energy demand for low- and zero-carbon fuel solutions.

The IAP noted that the need for a multi-fuel transition would require significant capital expenditure, especially in its infancy, and discussed how the industry’s willingness to invest in commercial solutions could be coupled with support from governments to lower cost barriers and incentivize early movers, where regulatory changes would be required.

Key enabler for smart shipping globally

MarineTech Conference’s panel discussion on “Smart Ship Developments, Trends and Priorities” during SMW saw DNV Maritime’s Strategic Development Director Dr Pierre Sames highlighting the important achievement of widespread connectivity as the key enabler for smart shipping globally.

“We have talked about this for decades but now it is working, so assets are being connected like machines on a factory floor.”

Dr Sames considers that this smart shipping trend contributes directly to decarbonization, as well as decreased operational costs for the maritime industry.

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A busy DNV booth during Sea Asia, which saw a number of experts presenting topics such as "Emissions Connect by DNV"

Emissions Connect: data for sustainable operations

Sea Asia Industry Insights were provided at the DNV booth by a number of expert speakers, including Magnus Lande, Product Line Director Veracity Data Platform. He explained that “Emissions Connect by DNV” fuels industry collaboration by equipping the maritime value chain with capabilities to verify and share emissions data.

Therefore, it provides the trusted basis needed to facilitate settlement of ETS (EUs Emissions Trading System) allowances and to operationally control CII (Carbon Intensity Indicator) performance.

Mr Lande also spoke at a session entitled “Innovate to Zero: Digitalization Advancing Decarbonization of Maritime Trade”, organized by Norwegian Business Association Singapore (NBAS), and showed how “shipping companies can build confidence into their emissions data”.

Maritime Manpower forum emphasizes human element in the industry transformation

The panel discussion on “Preparing the Maritime Workforce for the Decade of Transformation” was held on the last SMW day and was moderated by Dr Shahrin Osman, Regional Head of Maritime Advisory at DNV.

Coinciding with the elevated emphasis on global and local maritime industry manpower issues and opportunities was the release of the DNV study  “The Future of Seafarers 2030: A Decade of Transformation”, co-sponsored by Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF).

The study examines the key drivers transforming the maritime industry – particularly decarbonization and digitalization – and their impact on sea-going professionals in the lead-up to 2030, advancing the conversation on the training and development, as well as how to attract and retain the talent pool.

The findings were obtained through a combination of literature review, expert consultations, and a survey of more than 500 seafarers collectively responsible for operating dry bulk, tanker, and container vessels globally. 70% of the seafarers who responded to the survey had been in the industry for over 11 years.

Pressing need for training in new fuels and technology

The key findings of the DNV study include:

  • 87% of respondents indicated a need for partial or complete training regarding emerging fuels such as ammonia, methanol, and hydrogen
  • A total of 81% of respondents said that they require training in dealing with advanced digital technologies such as further automation of equipment/systems, advanced sensors, artificial intelligence, remote operations etc.)
  • A total of 55% of respondents indicated that new developments in fuels, automation and digitalization onboard ships can assist in attracting new seafarers to a career at sea and retaining existing seafarers

On top of the strong emphasis on manpower challenges in forum discussions and with the release of DNV’s comprehensive study, the Maritime IAP panel also stressed the importance of attraction, recruitment, and retention of talent, especially as the maritime industry accelerates digital transformation and advances the multi-fuel transition.

Tripartite collaborations with clear and regular communication to maritime workers will become increasingly important to encourage upskilling, retraining, and strengthening the maritime workforce to prepare them for the transformation, the IAP noted.

The last word to wrap up SMW must go to Singapore’s Minister of Transport, Mr S Iswaran, when thanking IAP members for their invaluable views and insightful contributions over the week:

“As a global maritime hub, Singapore remains committed to work with like-minded partners across industries and regions to support and accelerate maritime digitalization and decarbonization efforts.

“The IAP members have been strong allies in driving transformation of the maritime sector, and I look forward to sustaining this spirit of cooperation as we chart a path forward for the maritime sector.”

Related: Completed safety study paves way for first ammonia bunkering pilot in Singapore
Related: SMW 2023: DNV joins Standards working group on methanol bunkering
Related: SMW 2023: MPA, classification societies to collaborate on maritime decarbonisation
Related: SMW 2023: DNV joins Standards working group on methanol bunkering
Related: SMW 2023: Maritime IAP discusses multi-fuel transition at annual meeting


Photo credit: DNV
Published: 11 May, 2023

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Singapore: EPS orders ammonia, LNG dual-fuel vessels from China

EPS signed one contract for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International.






Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) on Wednesday (28 February) said it signed two new contract orders in a signing ceremony in Shanghai, one for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International. 

The contracts signed cover four 210,000 dwt ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers and two 111,000 dwt LNG dual-fuel LR2 oil tankers, expanding our fleet of green vessels on water. 

“These are pivotal for EPS, testament to our continued commitment towards the decarbonisation of shipping,” EPS said in a social media post.

Manifold Times recently reported EPS signing a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard the Pacific Sentinel

The turnkey ‘suction sail’ technology, which drags air across an aerodynamic surface to generate exceptional propulsive efficiency, will be fitted later this year, helping the 183-metre, 50,000 DWT oil and chemical tanker reduce overall energy consumption by approximately 10%, depending on vessel routing.

Related: Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker


Photo credit: Eastern Pacific Shipping
Published: 1 March 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Malaysia: Port of Tanjung Pelepas completes first LNG bunkering operation

Landmark event involved the CMA CGM Monaco, a 14,024 TEUs containership operated by French shipping giant CMA CGM.






Port of Tanjung Pelepas Sdn Bhd (PTP), a joint venture between MMC Group and APM Terminals, on Wednesday (28 February) announced a significant milestone with the successful completion of its first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering operation. 

The landmark event involved the CMA CGM Monaco, a 14,024 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) capacity containership operated by French shipping giant, CMA CGM.

Tan Sri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, Chairman of PTP in a statement remarked this latest milestone demonstrates PTP’s commitment to continuously enhance its competitive advantages in an increasingly competitive global market.

“The successful completion of our first LNG bunkering operation also underscores our unwavering commitment to sustainability and environmental leadership. We are proud to partner with Petronas Trading Corporation Sendirian Berhad (PETCO) and CMA CGM on this initiative and showcase PTP’s capabilities as a leading facilitator of clean and efficient maritime operations.”

“This milestone paves the way for further growth in LNG bunkering at PTP, contributing significantly to the decarbonisation of the maritime industry.”

Commenting on this achievement, Mark Hardiman, Chief Executive Officer of PTP stated this latest milestone further highlights PTP’s position as the largest transshipment hub terminal in Malaysia.

“In preparation for the LNG bunkering operation, PTP worked closely since March 2022 with PETCO and CMA CGM, as well as with various other related government agencies to organise table-top exercises (TTX) and workshops, before carrying out the deployment exercise.”

“The success of the bunkering operation is a result of the seamless collaboration and preparations involving rigorous safety procedures through in-depth operational and risk assessments, modelling, and validation. We thank PETCO, CMA CGM all other involved parties for their joint efforts in operationalising the bunkering capability and we welcome partners to work with us to accelerate maritime decarbonisation,” said Hardiman.

Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) is Malaysia’s largest transshipment hub with the capacity to handle 13 million TEUs annually. The port delivers reliable, efficient, and advanced services to major shipping lines and box operators, providing shippers in Malaysia and abroad with extensive connectivity to the global market. PTP is currently ranked 15th among the world top container ports.


Photo credit: Port of Tanjung Pelepas
Published: 1 March 2024

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Alternative Fuels

Wallenius Wilhelmsen to order four additional methanol DF PCTCs

Newbuilds will also be ammonia-ready and able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.





Wallenius Wilhelmsen PCTC order

Roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen on Tuesday (27 February) declared options to build four additional next-generation Shaper Class pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) vessels.

The 9,300 CEU methanol dual fuel vessels can utilise alternative fuel sources, such as methanol, upon delivery. They will also be ammonia-ready and able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.

“Together with our customers we are committed to further shaping our industry and accelerating towards net zero. These new vessels are a vital part of that journey,” says Xavier Leroi, EVP & COO Shipping Services.

This latest commitment brings the total number of Shaper Class vessels currently on order with Jinling Shipyard (Jiangsu) to eight. Wallenius Wilhelmsen also retains further options.

The first of the Shaper Class vessels already ordered are expected to be delivered in the second half of 2026. The four additional vessels under the declared options will be delivered between May and November 2027.


Photo credit: Wallenius Wilhelmsen
Published: 1 March 2024

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