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Singapore to Develop World’s Longest Digital, Green Maritime Corridor

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Europe’s largest ports have teamed together to create the world’s longest Green and Digital Corridor. Decarbonising shipping is a top priority for the agency addressing climate change and calls for the cooperation of the entire maritime industry.

“As a trusted global maritime hub, Singapore contributes actively to IMO’s efforts to make international shipping more sustainable, and global supply chains more resilient,” says S Iswaran, Minister for Transport and Minister-in-Charge of Trade Relations, Singapore.

He added that the collaboration demonstrates how like-minded partners can collaborate to supplement the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) efforts and that it will serve as a valuable platform to pilot concepts that can be scaled up for more green and global shipping.

The MoU will bring together stakeholders from the entire supply chain to launch the first sustainable vessels on the route by 2027. While international shipping currently relies heavily on marine gas oil (MGO) and low-sulfur fuel oil, sustainable alternatives such as biofuels, including biogases, are becoming more widely available.

Other alternatives, such as synthetic methane, hydrogen, and hydrogen-based fuels such as ammonia and methanol, are in various stages of research and development in preparation for future trials and deployment.

Each alternative fuel has its own set of challenges in terms of cost, availability, safety, and range limitations due to lower energy density when compared to fossil fuels. To address these issues, the MOU will bring together a broad coalition of shippers, fuel suppliers, and other businesses to collaborate on potential solutions.

Apart from alternative fuels, the MoU aims to improve maritime efficiency, safety, and the transparent flow of goods by establishing a digital trade lane for the exchange of relevant data, electronic documentation, and standards. This will allow for the smooth movement of vessels and cargo while also optimising vessel arrival times from port to port.

The port authorities will collaborate with some action partners as well as other supply chain partners. This will allow the Green and Digital Corridor project to gain investor trust, attract green financing, and launch joint bunkering pilots and trials for digitalization and the use of low- and zero-carbon fuels along the route.

Moreover, shipping is one of the most important industries to decarbonize because of its extensive international reach and growing volume. Authorities can enable carriers to switch to zero-carbon fuels and accelerate the transition to more sustainable shipping by bringing parties from across the supply chain together along one of the world’s busiest trade lanes.

The MoU bolsters Singapore’s strong economic partnership by reaffirming the country’s commitment to facilitating a multi-fuel bunkering transition as part of the Maritime Singapore Decarbonisation Blueprint 2050 and accelerating digitalisation efforts to improve maritime efficiency and supply chain resilience.

The pilot will supplement efforts by the shipping industry and partners to support the decarbonisation and digitalisation transition for international shipping, with a focus on developing and scaling up green and digital solutions for wider adoption.

On the other hand, OpenGov Asia earlier reported that the MPA will keep advancing research and development, implementing marine technology (MarineTech), and enhancing maritime cybersecurity skills to establish industry-wide capabilities. This should increase the nation’s resilience and ability to handle disruptions.

Beyond 31 December 2022, MPA will continue to provide cash support for the deployment of previously authorised digital solutions to marine firms that qualify. More than 3,000 SMEs in the Sea Transport subsectors will be qualified to apply for co-funding because of the expansion.

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