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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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Business

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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