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SMW 2023: Discussion held on emerging trends of piracy and sea robbery in Asia

‘In South East Asia, we are witnessing attacks to ships’ crew with the intention to steal cargo, stores or sometimes even the ship,’ says Ashok Srinivasan of BIMCO.




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The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC), together with the three co-organisers BIMCO, INTERTANKO and the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), held an annual Piracy and Sea Robbery Conference on Thursday (27 April) in conjunction with Singapore Maritime Week 2023. 

This year’s conference featured a two-part panel discussion where panellists deliberated on the importance of “Partnership” between the shipping industry and law enforcement agencies in combating piracy and armed robbery against ships, to ensure safe and secure seas for seafarers.

Dr Heike Deggim, Director of the Maritime Safety Division at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), in her keynote address, provided an update on the global situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships.

Dr Deggim expressed appreciation for the excellent work of ReCAAP ISC and the achievements of the organisation since 2006, in its mission to enhance regional cooperation through information sharing, capacity building and cooperative arrangements. 

She urged the ReCAAP ISC to continue to organise the Piracy and Sea robbery conference aimed at building regional capacity to counter the menace of piracy and armed robbery against ships. In addition, she shared how States in Africa are working together and strengthening their capabilities to combat maritime crime and piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Gulf of Guinea. 

Vice-Admiral (Indian Navy Retired) Pradeep Chauhan, Director of the National Maritime Foundation, India, shared how the Indian authorities work with stakeholders to combat maritime crimes. 

CG Admiral Artemio M. Abu, Commandant of Philippine Coast Guard, and the Chairperson of ReCAAP ISC Governing Council, said: “From January to March 2023, 25 incidents of armed robbery against ships in Asia were reported to ReCAAP ISC. This is a 9% increase over the same period last year. Given the current inflationary pressures and uncertain economic outlook, many of the factors which drive individuals to commit piracy and sea robbery may return, and may lead to higher number of incidents this year. The shipping industry must continue to adopt best practices such as timely and accurate incident reporting and close collaboration with maritime authorities, to keep our sea lanes safe and protect crew and cargo.” 

piracy 4

In the first panel discussion, representatives from BIMCO, INTERTANKO, Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) discussed the emerging trends and modus operandi of piracy and sea robbery incidents in Asia. 

Ashok Srinivasan, Manager of Maritime Safety and Security, BIMCO, said: “Piracy and armed robbery in any form is a threat to seafarers and shipping. In the Gulf of Guinea, we are beginning to see attacks again after a lull of 12 to 18 months. In South East Asia, we are witnessing attacks to ships' crew with the intention to steal cargo, stores or sometimes even the ship. Industry and authorities need to stay vigilant and not let their guard down. BIMCO will work tirelessly with relevant stakeholders to bring piracy problems under control.” 

Mr Elfian Harun, Regional Manager (Southeast Asia) and Environment Manager, INTERTANKO, said: “Piracy and armed robbery are crimes that no seafarer should have to face. Fortunately, the armed robbery taking place in the Singapore Strait has, thus far, not resulted in injury to crew, but the situation remains a real concern due to its potential impact upon the safety of navigation. ReCAAP ISC and its partners have taken tremendous steps to eradicate these crimes and this coordinated response is an example the other regions should consider emulating.” 

The second panel discussion saw representatives from the Maritime Security Task Force (Republic of Singapore Navy), BAKAMLA (Indonesian Maritime Security Agency) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) share best practices which ship masters should adopt to engage littoral states and law enforcement agencies. The panellists also highlighted individual country’s initiatives and cooperative efforts undertaken to suppress piracy and sea robbery in their territorial waters. 

Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, Executive Deputy Chairman of RSIS, said, “The number of incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the region continues to be a reference point to which the international community assesses the safety and security of regional waters. This conference gathers stakeholders and serves as a reminder on the importance of sustaining collective efforts and to always remain vigilant.” 

Executive Director ReCAAP ISC, Krishnaswamy Natarajan, in his closing remarks, said: “Combating piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia is not the sole responsibility of the coastal States or the shipping industry, but a common responsibility shared by all stakeholders since it is a transnational maritime crime. Building trust and confidence among stakeholders is necessary to promote cooperation, collaboration and information sharing, and to reduce piracy and armed robbery incidents against ships in Asia.”

Manifold Times previously reported global oil and shipping group Monjasa stating pirates boarded Liberia-flagged oil tanker Monjasa Reformer on 25 March off Congo in West Africa. The pirates then abandoned the vessel and ‘brought part of the crew members with them’. 

In another incident, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) received a report that the Singapore-registered Success 9 was boarded by unidentified persons at about 300 nautical miles off the Abidjan Coast, Cote d’lvoire at about 10 pm (Singapore time) on 10 April.

Manifold Times then reported MPA was updated that Success 9 has been located off the coast of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. All crew, including the Singaporean crew, were safe and in good health. The ship safely arrived at Abidjan port.

In April, Information Fusion Centre IFC provided an infographic on recommended measures for ship transiting in areas of concerns especially Singapore Strait in light of increased theft, robbery and piracy at sea.

Related: Breaking: Singapore-registered oil tanker “Success 9” located, crew safe
Related: IMO urges for regional and international efforts in response to recent piracy incidents
Related: IMB records lowest level of Q1 piracy since 1993 in 2023 report
Related: IFC publishes key observations from sea robbery incident reports
Related: Pirates abandon “Monjasa Reformer”, portion of crew returns to safety
Related: Pirates board Monjasa oil tanker “Monjasa Reformer” in Gulf of Guinea
Related: IFC: Update of boarding and attempted boarding incidents in Singapore Strait (Dec)


Photo credit: ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre
Published: 2 May, 2023

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MAN Energy Solutions opens largest service hub in Singapore

New facility able to meet demand for repairs, maintenance and training services for MAN Energy Solutions’ alternative-fuel engines, such as two-stroke methanol dual-fuel engines.






Singapore on Friday (1 March) welcomed the opening of MAN Energy Solutions’ new mixed purpose facility today that will expand their local business activities.

MAN Energy Solutions is one of the global engine makers of alternative-fuel engines, and is driving the maritime energy transition by enabling the use of cleaner fuels in ships around the world.

Located in Tuas, MAN Energy Solutions' EUR 20 mil (SGD30 mil) investment will include a new MAN PrimeServ training academy for customers and employees, a logistics centre to serve as the warehouse for Asia, and a PrimeServ workshop to provide maintenance and repair services, including for MAN Energy Solutions’ alternative-fuel engines.

The new facility will serve as the largest service hub for MAN Energy Solutions’ activities and engagements outside of Europe, and will allow shipowners and ship managers to gain round-the-clock access to technical services for MAN Energy Solutions products such as repairs and maintenance of their alternative-fuel two-stroke engines, reduce turnaround times for ships due to quicker access to spare parts, and providing training for seafarers on the safe operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of all MAN Energy Solutions equipment.

The new facility would also be timely to cater to the demand for repairs, maintenance and training services for MAN Energy Solutions’ alternative-fuel engines, such as the two-stroke methanol dual-fuel engines that are already available and for the two-stroke ammonia dual-fuel engines that are currently in development.

The mixed-purpose facility was launched by Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment.

SMS Khor said: “MAN Energy Solutions has been a long-time partner for Maritime Singapore since its establishment here in 1977. I am heartened that MAN Energy Solutions has placed a strong vote of confidence in Singapore by setting up its second hub outside of Europe here, setting the stage for collaboration in maritime decarbonisation, digitalisation, and talent development.”

“The expansion of MAN Energy Solutions’ workshop and warehouse activities will provide much needed capacity to support the maintenance of ocean-going vessels that adopt engines fuelled by new marine fuels.”

“MAN Energy Solutions' expanded training academy will also support Singapore's drive to upskill and reskill of our workforce, to build confidence for maritime workers to safely handle new marine fuels. I look forward to many more years of meaningful collaboration, especially in these emerging areas.”

Dr Uwe Lauber, CEO MAN Energy Solutions, said, “With over 9,000 square metres of floor space, Singapore is our largest hub outside of Europe in what is one of the most important maritime centres globally. We intend for this mixed-purpose facility to advance the maritime energy transition locally through education, logistics, and a comprehensive after-sales portfolio. Ultimately, we are ‘moving big things to zero’ and leading our customers towards a multi-fuel, decarbonised future.”

Mr Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive Officer of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, said, “As the world’s largest bunkering port and major transhipment hub, Singapore is committed to the maritime digitalisation and the green transition. We have been long-time partners with MAN Energy Solutions and have been working closely together in various methanol and ammonia shipping consortiums and also in skills development.”

“MAN Energy Solutions’ new maintenance and training facility here will add deep expertise and experience to the growing and vibrant new fuels ecosystem here and also upskilling of our maritime workforce, especially in the area of new methanol and ammonia engines.”

Nicolas Brabeck, Managing Director, MAN Energy Solutions, Singapore, said: “This new facility represents one of the biggest investments that we have made outside of our product centres within recent years. It forms a key part of our company’s Triple 10+ business strategy that aims for growth through green technologies. In this context, we intend to equip our personnel with the right skillsets to handle the new technologies coming online and drive our business forward. We therefore expect to significantly increase staff numbers on-site to some 400 people by 2027, and look forward to cultivating great relationships with our customers and the various, Singaporean authorities.”

MAN Energy Solutions’ Singapore office is its largest service hub outside Europe, and currently employs 250 staff.


Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 4 March 2024

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Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union launches upgraded Wavelink Maritime Simulation Centre

Centre includes new dual-fuel engine simulators, offering realistic training scenarios to prepare seafarers for the evolving maritime landscape and the shift to cleaner bunker fuels.





Wavelink MPA

Singapore Maritime Officers'​ Union launched the newly upgraded Wavelink Maritime Simulation Centre (WMSC), according to Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Thursday (29 February).

The SGD 2.75 million facility includes new dual-fuel engine simulators, offering realistic training scenarios to prepare seafarers for the evolving maritime landscape and the shift to cleaner fuels, in line with industry sustainability goals.

The WMSC was unveiled by Minister Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment at SMOU’s seminar titled Advancing Maritime Resilience: No One is Left Behind.

The seminar, focusing on transition and training, aimed to reinforce shared responsibility, empower the maritime workforce through training, and champion sustainability without disadvantaging stakeholders in achieving #netzero emissions by 2050.

MPA's Assistant Chief Executive (Corporate & Strategy) Hoe Soon Tan participated in a panel discussion on "Prioritising a 'Just Transition", addressing strategies to bridge skill gaps and ensure a smooth and equitable transition for all seafarers.


Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 4 March 2024

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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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