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Innovation, decarbonisation and talent the three main priorities of MPA, says CE

28 Apr 2022

Innovation, accelerating decarbonisation, and talent are the three main priorities of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), says its Chief Executive.

Quah Ley Hoon was speaking at the 2nd Marine & Offshore Congress 2022 on Tuesday (26 April) when she said while Singapore is facing complexities, the republic was starting from a position of strength with many international maritime companies expressing strong interest in pursuing new business activities there. 

The complexities she outlined were global supply chain disruptions especially following the recent Ukraine war and global port disruptions, global energy transition and accelerating geopolitical shifts. 

As such, she shared that MPA is tackling global challenges faced by the maritime sector. 


Quah said the [email protected] initiative launched in 2019 has allowed Singapore to move to paperless and contactless port clearance. 

“We are also actively looking for collaboration opportunities with other ports, to pursue data harmonisation through initiatives such as digitalOCEANSTM,” she said. 

In order to enhance supply chain digitalisation, MPA is also looking at electronic documentation. 

“MPA is actively encouraging the use of electronic bills of lading (eBL) for cross-border trade. The Digital Container Shipping Association estimated that if only half of the container shipping industry adopts eBL solutions, savings could already amount to about US$4 billion annually,” she said. 

“MPA has co-funded 3 industry consortiums to develop and trial eBL solutions serving the wet bulk, dry bulk and container cargo markets, as we recognise that each market segment would have different circumstances and needs. We are also working with international organisations to improve take-up.”

Quah also noted creative Marinetech solutions have also became more mainstream amidst COVID-19. 

“The Marinetech space is showing great promise, with Google Cloud estimating that venture capital funding for Marinetech reached USD $11.3 billion in 2021, doubled from 2020,” she said. 

Quah Ley Hoon was speaking at the 2nd Marine & Offshore Congress 2022

Accelerating Decarbonisation

Quah shared as a top bunkering hub, Singapore is preparing to support the industry’s multifuel transition.

She said MPA is also looking into developing standards for biofuel to accelerate adoption on at wider scale.

“We are also actively looking at other fuels such as methanol and ammonia, forming value-chain ecosystems with industry players. We need to develop standards, infrastructure and supply chains for these cleaner fuels.” 

“The Maritime IAP suggested that like-minded port authorities and operators could create green corridors, to pilot practical pathways and spur momentum towards maritime decarbonisation.”


Quah expressed hope to see more maritime companies in Singapore’s Best Employer 2022 Study, released by The Straits Times and Statista last week, noting DNV, PSA International and Maersk ranked among the 200 most-attractive employers in Singapore. 

“It would be good for maritime companies to carefully consider their value propositions and attractiveness to employees,” she said. 

She also stressed that it was important to adopt and propagate innovative training methods moving forward and become a hub for training of future maritime talent. 

Quah added MPA and Singapore Maritime Foundation are embarking on Job Redesign Pilot Projects, focusing on key maritime job roles such as vessel operators and technical superintendents for a start.

“We hope this will also attract more people into maritime jobs. Sectors and firms that can stay ahead of the curve in upskilling their workforce and redesigning jobs, would find themselves attracting the lion’s share of talent.”

Quah Ley Hoon was speaking at the 2nd Marine & Offshore Congress 2022

Related: MPA blueprint prepares marine fuels sector for multi-fuel bunkering transition
Related: Singapore: MPA maritime decarbonisation blueprint sets target for bunkering sector
Related: DNV belongs to Singapore’s best employers and tops professional services in survey


Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 28 April, 2022

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