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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.




iap 3

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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Vessel Arrest

Malaysia: MMEA detains tanker for illegal anchoring in East Johor waters

Panama-registered vessel was operated by 17 crew members, aged between 21 to 58 years, from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.





Malaysia: MMEA detains tanker for illegal anchoring in East Johor waters

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) on Tuesday (28 November) said a Panama-registered tanker has been detained for illegally anchoring in East Johor waters on 27 November.

MMEA Tanjung Sedili Zone acting director Maritime Cmdr Mohd Najib Sam said the tanker was detained by a patrol boat at 11am at 15.8 nautical miles northeast of Tanjung Penawar.

The captain of the vessel failed to produce any documents that permission had been obtained to anchor in Malaysian waters. 

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The vessel was operated by 17 crew members, aged between 21 to 58 years, from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

The case will be investigated under Section 491B(1)(L) of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952 for anchoring without permission. If found guilty, individuals may be fined not exceeding MYR 100,000 or face an imprisonment term of not more than two years, or both.

Manifold Times previously reported law firm Oon & Bazul LLP sharing on steps shipowners should keep in mind before anchoring and conducting STS operations in Malaysian waters to avoid detention.

Related: Oon & Bazul to shipowners: Measures to take before anchoring, conducting STS ops in Malaysian waters

Photo credit: Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
Published: 29 November, 2023

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Alternative Fuels

DNV paper outlines bunkering of alternative marine fuels for boxships

Third edition of its paper series focuses on LNG, methanol and ammonia as alternative bunker fuel options for containerships; explores bunkering aspects for LNG and methanol.





DNV paper outlines bunkering of alternative marine fuels for boxships

Classification society DNV recently released the third edition of its paper series Alternative fuels for containerships, focused on LNG, methanol and ammonia as alternative bunker fuel options for containerships.

In its updated paper series, DNV examined the different alternative marine fuel options and provided an overview of the most important technical and commercial considerations for the containership sector.

It explored the bunkering technology for LNG, bunkering infrastructure for methanol, and availability and infrastructure of ammonia. 

Building on the foundation laid in the second edition, which focused on the most important aspects of methanol as a fuel, this latest third edition delves deeper  – exploring the technical intricacies and commercial considerations associated with adopting methanol as an alternative fuel for containerships.

Furthermore, it provides an overview of crucial aspects related to ammonia and discusses its potential as an alternative fuel for containerships.

Amongst others, the new edition of the paper looks at the following aspects:

  • Technical design considerations for methanol
  • Commercial implications of adopting methanol as an alternative fuel
  • Ammonia's potential as an alternative fuel
  • Availability, infrastructure and ship fuel technology for ammonia
  • Major updates based on the latest IMO GHG strategy decisions at the MEPC 80 meeting

Note: The third edition of DNV’s full paper titled Alternative Fuels for Containerships can be found here.

Related: DNV paper outlines bunkering infrastructure of alternative fuels for boxships

Photo credit: DNV
Published: 29 November, 2023

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Alternative Fuels

EDF, LR and Arup launch tool scoring ports’ potential to produce and bunker electrofuels

Tool is also applied to three different port scenarios, including ports exploring fuel production and bunkering, ports exploring fuel exports, and ports exploring fuel imports and bunkering.





EDF, LR and Arup launch tool scoring ports’ potential to produce and bunker electrofuels

Lloyd’s Register (LR) Maritime Decarbonisation Hub and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), in collaboration with Arup, on Tuesday (28 November) introduced the Sustainable First Movers Initiative Identification Tool, a system to help shipping stakeholders align investment decisions that support the maritime energy transition away from fossil fuels.

The tool, which is presented in a preliminary findings report – The Potential of Ports in Developing Sustainable First Movers Initiatives – scores a port’s potential to produce and bunker electrofuels while delivering local environmental and community benefits in alignment with the global temperature target of 1.5 degrees Celsius set by the Paris Agreement.

“Ports can play an important role in kickstarting shipping’s decarbonisation process even before global policies are established,” said Marie Cabbia Hubatova, Director, Global Shipping at Environmental Defense Fund.

“By considering the impact sustainable first mover initiatives can have on port-side communities, climate, environment and economies, resources can be better directed to locations where these initiatives will make the biggest difference.”

With close to two billion people living near coastal zones globally, the role of, and impacts on local port communities must be intentionally considered as the sector decarbonises globally. Ports can play a crucial role in ensuring shipping decarbonisation efforts are done in a way that has positive impacts on port communities.

The preliminary phase of the Sustainable First Movers Initiative Identification Tool analyses 108 ports in the Indo-Pacific region according to five criteria including land suitability, air quality, renewable energy surplus, economic resilience and ship traffic.

It is also applied to three different port scenarios, including ports exploring fuel production and bunkering, ports exploring fuel exports, and ports exploring fuel imports and bunkering. The combined criteria and scenario evaluation determines which ports have the greatest potential (high potential) for sustainable first mover initiatives to lead to significant emissions reductions and positive impacts in nearby communities, such as improved air quality and economic resilience.

“The transition to clean energy supply for shipping can be achieved only if stakeholders act together. Identifying potential port locations is the first step in this process,” said Dr Carlo Raucci, Consultant at Lloyd’s Register Maritime Decarbonisation Hub. “This approach sets the base for a regional sustainable transition that considers the impacts on port-side communities and the need to avoid regions in the Global South lagging behind.”

Regions in the Global South are fundamental in driving the decarbonisation of shipping. To make this transition effective, the rate at which different countries adopt and scale up electrofuels must be proportional to the difference in capital resources globally to avoid additional costs being passed on to local communities. Sustainable first mover initiatives can play an important role in making this happen by ensuring the sector’s decarbonisation is inclusive of all regions and by engaging all shipping stakeholders, including port-side communities.

“There’s a huge opportunity for early adopter shipping decarbonisation initiatives to unlock benefits for people and planet – shaping the way for a more equitable transition in the 2030s,” said Mark Button, Associate, Arup. “Our collective approach shows that taking a holistic view of shipping traffic, fuel production potential and port communities could help prioritise action at ports with the greatest near-term potential.”

The tool can be customised according to stakeholders’ needs and goals and is dependent on scenario desirability. The next phase of this work will include the selection and detailed assessment of 10 ports to help better understand local needs and maximise the value offered by sustainable first mover initiatives. 

LR and EDF carried out a joint study on ammonia as shipping fuel, and LR and Arup have collaborated on The Resilience Shift study focused on fuel demand for early adopters in green corridors, ports, and energy systems, amongst many other projects.

Photo credit: Lloyd’s Register
Published: 29 November, 2023

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