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NTU MESD receives SGD 12 million to further explore maritime decarbonisation

12 Oct 2022

Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport Chee Hong Tat on Tuesday (11 October) said the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) will be awarding a total SGD 22 million to support the Maritime Energy and Sustainable Development (MESD) Centre of Excellence and Centre of Excellence in Modelling and Simulation for Next Generation Ports (C4NGP).

Maritime Energy and Sustainable Development Centre of Excellence

Specifically, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) will receive SGD 12 million in additional funding over the next five-year period to support MESD’s efforts to deepen research for 14 maritime decarbonisation R&D projects that were developed in Phase One for potential industry deployment in Phase Two.

The MESD will initiate joint projects on 16 R&D areas which it has identified with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and industry partners. These projects include trials on alternative bunker fuels and energy sources, as well as associated adoption pathways.

“SMI is pleased to support the Phase Two funding for MESD and C4NGP,” said SMI Chairman Mr Wong Weng Sun.

“The two centres of excellence form the repositories of deep expertise and knowledge in the respective areas of green shipping and next generation port, and have made significant R&D achievements since their establishment.

“In the next phase, the Centres will focus efforts on translating their rich R&D capabilities for industry adoption. They will continue their role in supporting and building a strong and vibrant research and innovation ecosystem through maritime R&D excellence.”

Developments of MESD during Phase One (September 2017 – September 2022)

MESD covered the following three R&D focus areas in Phase One:

  • Energy management using energy management tools and waste energy recovery system for enhancing the performance of ports and ships.
  • Emission management through alternate, clean energy or fuel and emission control and monitoring to provide solutions for port and ship operators to meet global standard and handle future regulations.
  • Sustainable maritime operations to ensure that innovative approaches are practical and economically viable for ships and ports.

Some of the projects that had been undertaken in Phase One include:

  • Ammonia as marine fuel in Singapore;
  • Technical and operational feasibility of methanol fuelled vessels in China and Singapore;
  • Bio-liquefied natural gas (LNG) in shipping industry decarbonisation;
  • Study of alternative sources of energy for next generation multipurpose port;
  • Sustainable biofuel pathway for maritime application; and
  • Methanol as marine fuel for Singapore harbour craft

Developments of MESD during Phase Two (September 2022 – September 2027)

In the next phase of the centre’s research work, MESD aims to focus on emissions management and decarbonisation of maritime operations. This shift in focus will support Singapore’s energy strategy to switch to low-carbon alternatives. MESD’s work will also help to develop the energy value chain to support both harbour operations and international shipping in Singapore.

MESD will also endeavour to drive technology translation and place additional effort to push novel concepts from research projects in Phase One to the next level of readiness towards industry adoption in Phase Two by actively seeking joint projects with industry partners and agencies.

MESD has identified 16 R&D projects for Phase Two with inputs from MPA and is aligned with the recommendations from the Singapore Maritime Foundation’s international advisory panel on Maritime decarbonisation.

Some of the R&D projects to be undertaken by MESD in its Phase Two include:

  1. Bio-LNG for decarbonisation of international shipping
  2. Ammonia bunkering operation safety, mitigation and environmental impact study
  3. Methanol as a bunker fuel
  4. In-situ utilisation of carbon dioxide for shipboard application
  5. Carbon capture utilisation and storage scale up and sea trial
  6. Value chain and impact analysis of alternative maritime energy


Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 12 October, 2022

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