Green ahoy

Green ahoy

Local authorities in Singapore are incentivising less polluting ships while mapping out the city’s maritime future.

Not sitting on its laurels the authorities in the Lion Republic are planning the island’s maritime future.

In September the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) established the International Maritime Centre 2030 (IMC 2030) advisory committee to chart the future directions of Singapore’s IMC. Andreas Sohmen-Pao, chairman of BW Group, has been appointed as the chairman of the committee.

“As part of its work, the committee would review Singapore’s IMC development strategy and identify new growth areas to enhance Singapore’s long-term competitiveness and value proposition as an IMC,” MPA said in a release.

In 2000, there were only about 20 international shipping groups with origins from countries including China, Denmark and Norway that had offices in Singapore. Today, Singapore has one of the highest concentrations of international shipping groups; and is home to more than 130 international shipping groups as well as leading players in shipmanagement, finance, broking, insurance, law and arbitration.

“The rapidly evolving global economic environment poses both opportunities and challenges for Singapore’s development as an IMC,” MPA noted. “Emerging trends in the maritime and logistics sectors such as smart ships and ports, data analytics, digital platforms and other new technologies are disrupting traditional business models and creating new value chains. To be better positioned for future growth, Singapore would need to stay nimble and adapt to new industry paradigms.”

Sohmen-Pao commented: “We will propose strategies for a more vibrant and competitive Singapore IMC.”

With shipping remaining for the large part in a considerable downturn the state moved to help out further this year. In April MPA granted a 10% cut in port dues for bulk carriers. It made similar concessions to container vessels in and offshore support vessels earlier.

“The roll out of these measures demonstrates Singapore’s commitment to help the maritime sector through this challenging time, and its importance in contributing to our economy and creating good jobs for Singaporeans,” MPA said in a release.

MPA also took some time this year to update its green payback schemes. The Maritime Singapore Green Initiative (MSGI), first launched in 2011, has proven to be a pioneer in the global ports scene.

The Green Ship Programme (GSP), a voluntary programme under MSGI sees more than 50% of qualifying ships exceeding the current Energy Efficiency Design Index frame required by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The Green Port Programme (GPP), another voluntary scheme under MSGI targeting at ships calling at the Port of Singapore, has also achieved considerable success. More than 3,700 vessel calls have switched to marine fuel with sulphur content not exceeding 1%. The Green Technology Programme (GTP) also saw more than 20 projects involving over 60 vessels. The encouraging results have prompted MPA to extend the MSGI to 31 December 2019.

From July 1 this year, GSP incentives have been extended to ships using LNG as part of Singapore’s longer term efforts to encourage LNG as a sustainable alternative fuel source.

In addition, the sulphur oxides limit under the GPP have been reduced further to 0.5% for ships calling at the port to enjoy a flat rate of 25% concession in port dues for the use of low sulphur fuel during their entire port stay. A similar concession is also extended to ships using LNG in the port of Singapore.

MPA also introduced two new programmes under the MSGI – the Green Awareness Programme (GAP) and the Green Energy Programme (GEP). GAP focuses on creating awareness on possible avenues towards sustainable shipping while GEP aims to promote adoption of alternate or cleaner marine fuels as well as wider adoption of energy efficient operational measures, in anticipation of the 2020 global sulphur emissions cap. These efforts come through support in asset and infrastructural development, as well as provision of various platforms for the industry to gain knowledge on these alternate fuels.

This is a feature that first appeared in our fourth annual Singapore Market Report – a 28-page magazine that launched this month. Readers of Splash can access the full magazine for free online by clicking here.

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