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Singapore and International Maritime Organisation Launch Online Portal for Maritime Decarbonisation

View of Bristol, UK, by the harbour.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) aims to develop Singapore as a premier global hub port and international maritime centre and to advance and safeguard Singapore’s strategic maritime interests. MPA partners with the industry and other agencies to enhance safety, security and environmental protection in our port waters, facilitate port operations and growth, expand the cluster of maritime ancillary services, and promote maritime R&D and manpower development.

Hence, MPA partnered with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to launch The NextGEN (Green and Efficient Navigation) portal, an online collaborative global ecosystem of maritime transport decarbonisation initiatives. The online portal aims to encourage information-sharing, create critical networks and opportunities for collaboration, and facilitate capacity-building.

The platform facilitates information sharing on decarbonisation initiatives across stakeholders in the maritime value chain. It also identifies opportunities and gaps for decarbonisation in the global shipping community. Overall, the online portal will serve as a focal point and reference tool for both public and private stakeholders by showcasing the universe of maritime decarbonisation projects on a single platform.

No one can tackle decarbonisation alone. It needs to be a global collective effort whereby we need to work together, across borders and sectors, to build capacity, share best practices and ensure a level playing field for all. By bringing ideas and stakeholders together, NextGEN builds on the key principle of inclusivity.

– Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive, MPA

Recognising that the maritime industry faces challenges reaching the ambitious decarbonisation targets with the current levels of technological development in low and zero-carbon fuels, the online portal was conceptualised as an initiative to support the maritime sector’s push towards the next generation of low and zero-carbon fuels and technologies to meet the goals of the initial strategy. In addition, the online portal is bringing stakeholders together to identify the gaps and opportunities for decarbonisation in the international shipping community

The online portal encompasses over 140 projects spanning over 500 partners, 13 fuel types, and a diversity of regions including Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific Islands. In particular, NextGEN spotlights global collaborative projects, which support maritime decarbonisation in Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries through technical assistance, technology transfer and capacity-building.

One of the biggest challenges is the battle against global warming and climate change. Collaborative action is needed to speed up research into emissions-cutting technology in the maritime sector and into zero- and low-carbon marine fuels.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, MPA and the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) have awarded funding to three consortiums and comprising a total of 30 enterprises and research institutions, to research, design, build and operate a fully electric harbour craft over the next five years.

Singapore has 1,600 licensed diesel-powered harbour craft that provides services such as the transport of personnel and supplies, to ships calling at the port. The funding for these projects will enable various technologies and charging infrastructures to be studied, test bedded and deployed across different types of harbour craft and operating profiles, through use cases proposed by the consortiums. The use cases involve two passenger ferries of different capacities and a lighter craft.

By bringing together industry and academia, innovative and commercially viable solutions can be developed to support the deployment of electric harbour craft in Singapore. Beyond the technologies and solutions, new business models will also be developed by the consortiums to enable the wider adoption of electric harbour craft.

As the maritime sector adopts cleaner energy solutions, there is an increasing demand for electric-powered marine vessels and sustainable charging infrastructure. MPA will capture opportunities brought about by the global energy transition.

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