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SMW 2023: Maritime IAP discusses multi-fuel transition at annual meeting

Governments could support bunkering trials and regulatory sandboxes as well as partner industry stakeholders and green shipping consortiums to accelerate research into alternative fuel technologies.




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The Maritime International Advisory Panel (IAP) held its second annual meeting on 25 and 26 April 2023, during the Singapore Maritime Week 2023, according to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore on Thursday (27 April). 

The two-day session brought together global business leaders from the maritime sector and adjacent industries to discuss key trends in the maritime sector – digitalisation, cybersecurity, and the multi-fuel transition. 

This year, the Maritime IAP also welcomed six new members. Local industry and union leaders were also invited to bring perspectives to the discussions. Mr S. Iswaran, Minister for Transport and Minister in-charge of Trade Relations delivered opening and closing remarks as Chairman of the Maritime IAP. Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport, led the discussions on both days.

Advancing the Multi-Fuel Transition

The Maritime IAP recognised that the decarbonisation of the maritime sector should not be viewed in isolation, but that there were synergies across different sectors and with each country’s domestic clean energy strategy. Among other solutions, the panel recommended that governments and the maritime industry could work with adjacent sectors such as the aviation and energy sectors to aggregate energy demand for low- and zero-carbon fuel solutions. 

The Maritime IAP acknowledged that the multi-fuel transition would require significant capital expenditure especially in its infancy, and discussed how the industry’s willingness to invest in commercial solutions could be coupled with support from governments to lower cost barriers and incentivise early movers, e.g. regulatory changes. The panel also highlighted the importance of preserving optionality when building infrastructure and ships through flexible and modular concepts to avoid stranded assets, while keeping multiple fuel pathways available. 

The Maritime IAP recommended that governments could articulate clear policy roadmaps for the promulgation of low- and zero-carbon fuels, as well as establish robust fuel standards and regulations at the national and international levels. Governments could support bunkering trials and regulatory sandboxes as well as partner industry stakeholders and green shipping consortiums to accelerate research into alternative fuel technologies and ship designs and encourage investments into these fuels. 

The panel reiterated that Green and Digital Shipping Corridors were important avenues for like-minded partners to take the lead in advancing the decarbonisation of shipping towards net-zero emissions. They also highlighted the need to build confidence and trust in the safety and efficacy of low- and zero-carbon fuels and their production.

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Forging Collaborations and Building An Inclusive Ecosystem 

The Maritime IAP recognised the valuable role that Maritime Singapore could play in strengthening collaborations and advancing industry transformation in the global maritime sector, by tapping on its strengths as a global hub port and international maritime centre.

The Maritime IAP agreed that it was important to build trust and improve transparency to foster effective collaboration on decarbonisation and digitalisation, which would mitigate various risks undertaken by various stakeholders. To accelerate digitalisation and decarbonisation meant that the various technology, credit, technical, market and infrastructure risks had to be borne by entities across the spectrum of shipyards, manufacturers, shipping lines, cargo owners, traders, charterers, banks, and governments. 

The Maritime IAP also highlighted the need to create a more inclusive ecosystem by engaging small and medium enterprises, which would allow the entire maritime value chain to reap the full benefits of digitalisation and decarbonisation. In addition, it was emphasised that governments needed to create a level playing field by setting standards and regulations to accelerate digitalisation and decarbonisation efforts. 

 Apart from government policy, it was also vital to engage the private sector to canvass ideas, expertise, and resources widely in order to effectively address the challenges of digitalisation and decarbonisation. Underscoring this was the continual need to strengthen public-private partnerships, so that governments could take into account commercial challenges and realities in policymaking to drive the intended outcomes.

Enhancing Digitalisation and Cybersecurity

The Maritime IAP suggested that governments could build neutrality and trust in data storage to promote data sharing. The panel also emphasised the importance of data standardisation and the interoperability of systems across borders, and to complement this with multilateral efforts such as those at the International Maritime Organization, plurilateral collaborations, bilateral initiatives, and partnerships with industry stakeholders.

 The Maritime IAP highlighted the benefits of advancing digital solutions for greater productivity, efficiency, and sustainability. The panel suggested developing “one-stop” digital platforms that would connect various maritime stakeholders to facilitate more efficient sharing of data and provision of integrated services. The panel also recommended tapping on visualisation and simulation techniques to improve processes in the maritime industry, such as developing digital twins, which would open up new possibilities for transformation. 

The Maritime IAP also recognised the urgent need to strengthen cybersecurity capabilities of the maritime industry given the increased risk of cyber-attacks with growing digitalisation. The panel raised that government support was necessary to help the industry elevate their cybersecurity capabilities, especially against sophisticated and large-scale attacks on critical infrastructure.

The Maritime IAP also suggested that like-minded countries, ports, and companies could form alliances and partnerships to facilitate early sharing of cyber threat information and enable timely responses to threats. 

Developing A Strong Maritime Workforce 

The Maritime IAP, as well as local industry and union representatives, underscored the importance of attraction, recruitment, and retention of talent, especially as the maritime industry accelerates digital transformation and advances the multi-fuel transition. Tripartite collaboration with clear and regular communication with maritime workers would become more important to encourage upskilling, retraining, and strengthening our maritime workforce to prepare them for the transformation.

Mr S. Iswaran said, “I would like to thank the IAP members for their invaluable views and insightful contributions over the past two days. As a global maritime hub, Singapore remains committed to work with like-minded partners across industries and regions to support and accelerate maritime digitalisation and decarbonisation efforts. The IAP members have been strong allies in driving transformation of the maritime sector, and I look forward to sustaining this spirit of cooperation as we chart a path forward for the maritime sector.”

Established in 2022 by the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Maritime IAP aims to seek international perspectives on key long-term trends and developments that will shape the maritime industry. 


Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 28 April, 2023

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GCMD concludes its final biofuel blend supply chain trial with Hapag-Lloyd

bp provided the B30 biofuel blend to the “TIHAMA”, a 19,870 TEU container vessel operated by Hapag-Lloyd in final trial; marks the end of a series of trials initiated in July 2022.





GCMD concludes its final biofuel blend supply chain trial with Hapag-Lloyd

The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) on Thursday (18 July) said it has successfully completed its final supply chain trial for biofuel blended with very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO). 

This marks the end of a series of trials initiated in July 2022 as part of a larger pilot to develop a framework to provide quality, quantity and GHG abatement assurances for drop-in fuels.

In this final trial, bp provided the B30 biofuel blend to the TIHAMA, a 19,870 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container vessel operated by Hapag-Lloyd.

The biofuel component used is certified to the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) standard – a multistakeholder certification scheme for biobased materials. The biofuel component comprised neat Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) produced from food waste.

Authentix, a tracer solutions provider, supplied and dosed the FAME with an organic-based tracer at the storage terminal outside the Netherlands. The dosed FAME was then transported to the Port of Rotterdam for blending with VLSFO to achieve a B30 blend, before the blend was bunkered onboard the TIHAMA.

Similar to previous trials, GCMD engaged fuel testing company Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) to witness the operations at all stages – from biofuel cargo transfer to bunkering. VPS also collected and conducted extensive laboratory tests on samples of the biofuel and biofuel blend collected at pre-determined points along the supply chain to assess quality per Standards EN 14214 and ISO 8217.

With well-to-wake emissions of 13.74 gCO2e/MJ, the neat FAME presented a 85.4% emissions reduction compared to the emissions of the fossil marine fuel. The reduced emissions complies with the MEPC 80, which requires a minimum emissions reduction of 65% in order for biofuels to be classified as sustainable.

GCMD and Hapag-Lloyd determined that consumption of the 4,500 MT B30 blend of FAME and VLSFO resulted in 27.9% emissions reduction compared to sailing on VLSFO.

A newly developed tracer deployed with this supply chain

GCMD collaborated with Authentix to develop and deploy a new organic-based tracer to authenticate the origin and verify the amount of FAME present in the blend. The proprietary tracer blended homogeneously with FAME and was detected at expected concentrations at all sampling points along the supply chain.

This trial marks the first deployment of this tracer in a marine fuel supply chain. Previously, similar tracers were used to authenticate and quantify biofuels in road transport and LPG supply chains.

Development of a comprehensive biofuels assurance framework underway

With the completion of this trial, GCMD has deployed a diverse range of tracer technologies, including synthetic DNA and element-based tracers, in addition to the organic-based tracer used in this trial. The trials have also included the development of a chemical fingerprinting methodology and the evaluation of lock-and-seal and automatic identification systems (AIS) as additional solutions to ensure the integrity of the biofuels supply chain.

Learnings on tracer limitations and benefits will be incorporated into a framework that recommends appropriate use to ensure consistent and robust performance. This effort will complement existing ISCC by providing additional supply chain assurance through physical traceability.

The insights from these trials will be shared in a series of reports covering issues, such as traceability, biofuel degradation, supply chain optimisation and abatement costs. These findings will culminate in a comprehensive assurance framework to provide guidance on biofuels use, slated for release in the fourth quarter of 2024.


Photo credit: Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation
Published: 19 July 2024

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MPA, ITOCHU and partners sign MoU on ammonia-fuelled bulk carriers study

As a government agency, MPA,will review and provide their views to the designs of the ammonia-fuelled ships to ensure their safe operations, says ClassNK.





RESIZED venti views

Classification society ClassNK on Thursday (18 July) said it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ITOCHU Corporation, Nihon Shipyard Co., Ltd., and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) regarding a joint study for the design and safety specifications of ammonia-fuelled ships which are under development by ITOCHU and partners.

“The discussion for a specification of ammonia-fuelled ships with a governmental body related to their operation is essential for a social implementation of ammonia-fuelled ships,” ClassNK said. 

“As one of parties of the MoU, MPA, a government agency overseeing the world’s busiest bunkering hub, will review and provide their views to the designs of the ammonia-fuelled ships to ensure their safe operations.”

The MoU is based on the premise that 200,000 deadweight ton class bulk carriers will be built by Nihon Shipyard with an ammonia dual-fuelled engine.

“The necessary clarifications of the specification for the ammonia-fueled ship to carry out ammonia bunkering in Singapore will be conducted among parties of this MoU, for the commercialisation of ammonia-fuelled ships,” ClassNK added.


Photo credit: Venti Views on Unsplash
Published: 19 July 2024

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“K” Line to use biofuel on three Gram Car Carriers-chartered vessels in Singapore

Biofuel will be supplied to the sister vessels “Viking Ocean”, “Viking Diamond” and “Viking Coral” while bunkering in Singapore, says Gram Car Carriers.





“K” Line to use biofuel on three Gram Car Carriers-chartered vessels in Singapore

Norwegian transportation firm Gram Car Carriers (GCC) on Thursday (18 July) said Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (“K” LINE) will use biofuel on three vessels chartered from GCC from July onwards. 

“The biofuel will be supplied to the sister vessels Viking Ocean, Viking Diamond and Viking Coral while bunkering in Singapore, an Asian hub for marine biofuels,” GCC said on its social media. 

“The use of biofuel is a key environmental initiative to reduce emissions across the entire value chain (well-to-exhaust) and an effective way of transitioning to low-carbon marine fuels amid globally tightening environmental regulations.”

“We support the green mobility shift. This means that GCC commit to supporting the transition of both vehicles and their logistic chain towards a zero-emission future in close cooperation with leading customers such as K-Line,” said Georg A. Whist, CEO of GCC.


Photo credit: Gram Car Carriers
Published: 19 July 2024

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