Efforts by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), BW Group, Sembcorp Marine, Eastern Pacific Shipping, Ocean Network Express, Foundation Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and BHP to establish a fund for a maritime decarbonisation centre to be set up in Singapore has been recognised by the local government.
Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Transport, shared a speech with delegates prior to witnessing the signing of memorandum of cooperation (MoC) agreements between the parties on Wednesday (21 April) morning.
“I’m heartened by the participation of six industry players, BW Group, Sembcorp Marine, Eastern Pacific shipping, Ocean Network Express Foundation, DNV, and BHP coming on board to sign the MoC together,” he said.
“I think this is a good start and I hope more partners can come on board in due time.”
Under the MoC, each private sector partner will contribute SGD 10 million (USD 7.5 million) to support the establishment of the centre, fund maritime-decarbonisation-related research and technology development projects and collaborate with institutes of higher learning and research institutes.
MPA will add SGD 60 million R&D funding to these contributions, bringing the fund to a total of SGD 120 million.
In his speech, SMS Chee introduced three concepts mirroring the republic’s ideology towards the development of green marine fuels and decarbonisation through the maritime decarbonisation centre.
First Concept of ‘And’ versus ‘All’
“The first is the concept of ‘and’ versus ‘all’. This is important because sometimes we end up asking ourselves if we should choose A or B or C; for example, LNG, or ammonia, or hydrogen,” SMS Chee told delegates.
“Maybe the answer is not ‘all’; maybe the answer is ‘and’. So this concept of ‘and’ versus ‘all’ is something useful for us to bear in mind because I don’t believe that we have one single silver bullet that can solve the entire decarbonisation challenge for the industry.”
He shared the Singapore maritime industry will need to be open to consider a range of decarbonisation solutions suiting different timelines and technical considerations.
“And maybe, the final outcome is a combination or all the above,” he stated.
“Likewise, I don’t think fuel is the only thing that we should pay attention to. Fuel is one very important area, but it is just one of the areas.
“We also have to look at other aspects of how to reduce carbon emissions in the maritime industry. So that’s the first concept of ‘and’ rather than ‘or’.”
Second Concept of ‘Multiply’ not ‘Divide’
SMS Chee further believed the concept of ‘multiply’ versus ‘divide’ to be important.
“A lot of these efforts that we’re going to have to put in to achieve the goals will require long term and significant investments. Governments, or companies, workers, and everyone has to chip in,” he continued.
“So rather than divide our efforts with each one doing our own research silos independently and not working together, we can achieve this very challenging goal if we work together; and we are able to then multiply our efforts. So that’s the second point, ‘multiply’ not ‘divide’.”
Third Concept of ‘Integrate’ not ‘Differentiate’
Lastly, SMS Chee highlighted the maritime decarbonisation centre will be able to integrate the R&D efforts from multiple parties for optimal results.
“There are many different technologies and solutions and if we end up developing them separately they’re not able to be integrated to talk to one another […] we are not going to be able to achieve the optimal,” he states.
“So, what we want is to bring together partners from different parts of the value chain, research institutions, companies, governments, port authorities so that we are able to not just develop and test bed solutions, we are also able to put them into real life applications and see how they work under real life conditions whether they produce results.”
SMS Chee notes the MPA is also looking at research in carbon pricing mechanisms, carbon accounting, and green financing as part of recommendations by the International Advisory Panel on Maritime Decarbonisation.
“So to sum up, let’s think of how we can achieve this goal together; ‘and’ not ‘all’; ‘multiply’ not ‘divide’ and ‘integrate’ not ‘differentiate’. I wish the centre a great success.”
The Singapore Maritime Week (SMW) 2021 is taking place between 19-23 April 2021; further articles written by media partner Manifold Times as part of SMW 2021 are as follows:
Related: SMW 2021: Shell, MPA & Sembcorp Marine to trial hydrogen fuel cell with RoRo vessel retrofit
Related: SMW 2021: Penguin Shipyard receives Bureau Veritas certification for first hybrid vessel
Related: SMW 2021: Norsepower partners Keppel O&M’s tech arm for global installation of Rotor Sails
Related: SMW 2021: MPA unveils programs to step up Maritime Innovation in Singapore
Related: SMW 2021: Maritime Drone Estate launched as Test Bed for Drone Technologies
Related: SMW 2021: Open call for JIP applications to accelerate digitalisation of bunker sector
Related: SMW 2021: digitalPORT@SGTM Phase 2 launched to reduce carbon footprint at port
Related: SMW 2021 opens with launch of decarbonisation blueprint to realise ‘new frontiers’
Related: SMW 2021: 10 companies celebrated for contributions to Singapore’s maritime industry
Related: SMW 2021: Industry leaders call for maritime to take transformative, collaborative action
Related: SMW 2021: Advanced Maritime program focuses on leadership amidst global crises
Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 22 April, 2021
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