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Singapore: MPA SRS forum discusses biofuels bunkers, electrification of harbourcraft

04 Nov 2020

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore on Tuesday (3 November) held the 2020 Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) Forum which saw an attendance of 270 virtual participants comprising of industry stakeholders such as ship owners, managers, operators, and classification societies.

The event’s theme: “Resilience, Strength and Adaptability” focused on how owners, managers and operators of Singapore-flagged ships can tap on opportunities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, in areas such as digitalisation and decarbonisation, said the MPA. 

“First, the maritime sector including the Port of Singapore has remained resilient even with COVID-19. Our container throughput registered a 3.7% growth in September this year compared to the same month last year,” noted Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of MPA speaking at the opening address.

“Our bunkering volumes is also 5.6% higher from January to September this year, compared to the same period last year.

Quah also focused on the partnerships that MPA has built in the areas of decarbonisation and digitalisation.

“On decarbonisation, MPA and our partners are funding the research, test-bedding, and adoption of low-carbon technologies through the S$40 million Maritime GreenFuture Fund.

“MPA also recently launched the joint Call for Proposals with the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) to support the development in electrification of harbour craft.

“Together with SMI, we are studying the use of biofuels in harbourcraft. I would like to encourage SRS companies operating harbour craft to work with like-minded technology developers to support trials for future fuels.” 

At a national level, Quah noted that the MPA are extending its memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Global Compact Network Singapore by an additional three years to 2023.

Together with SSA and GCNS, MPA will promote carbon management and awareness amongst maritime companies. 

As part of these efforts, Quah added MPA has also launched NextGen with IMO to come up with platforms for organisations to share ideas so that they can snowball into commercially viable solutions for ocean-going vessels.

On digitalization, Quah stated that Singapore is actively driving maritime digitalisation to streamline operations and improve efficiency.

“MPA and China’s Maritime Safety Administration have started live trials to exchange electronic certificates to streamline port clearance,” noted Quah.   

“MPA has also signed a MOU with the Port of Rotterdam, PSA International, TradeLens, GeTS, and CargoSmart, to develop and adopt common data standards and Application Programming Interface specifications, which will facilitate data exchange for port and maritime services transactions.

“This partnership will drive the digitalOCEANS initiative, Singapore’s vision of a global inter-operable network that will connect ships, ports, governments and other trade platforms for the seamless flow of data across borders.”

Related: Singapore: MPA reveals collaborative proposals to digitalise and decarbonise shipping
Related: MPA and SMI issue call for viable proposals to accelerate harbourcraft decarbonisation
Related: Singapore MPA-IMO webinar charts future routes for decarbonisation of shipping

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 4 November, 2020

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