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Singapore focusing on safety and standards for future marine fuels

Photo: Marcus Hand quahleyhoonSMW21.JPG
Quah Ley Hoon, chief executive MPA
Singapore is gearing up to develop regulations and standards for safety and supply of future alternative fuels for shipping, as moves to decarbonise the industry accelerate.

“I believe that the pandemic has really accelerated and brought to the fore decarbonisation,” Caroline Yang, President of Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) said.

“For the maritime industry because we invest in assets that are supposed to have a long run rate of 20 – 30 years, how do we make sure we start our programme right now so we actually make sure we achieve the 2050 GHG emission goal by the IMO?” she told a media briefing organised by the Maritime & Port Authority Singapore (MPA) ahead of next week’s Singapore Maritime Week 2021.

Decarbanisation is one of three key elements being explored at SMW 2021 under the theme “New frontiers, new paradigms”, along with digitalisation and talent.

Quah Ley Hoon, chief executive of the MPA, said SMW 2021 aimed to look at what is the future for shipping, which impacts not just vessels owners but also bunkering and the entire supply chain.

“What’s the future ship? This can affect the type of bunkering we could put place, affect the type of regulation that is put in place. If it’s ammonia, biofuel, whether its hydrogen fuel cells, or solar, that requires global collaboration for standards safety and bunkering,” she explained.

Noting the experience Singapore has had with developing standards for LNG bunkering and safety this has taken eight years of international collaboration. “We need to start quickly, it’s problem that cannot be pushed down the road.”

For its part the SSA has set up a new alternative marine fuels sub-committee. “As an association we believe this will be thee item on the agenda in the next few years,” Yang said.

“For the bunkering side to keep apace so we know what fuels are coming onstream so we are not blindsided by it, and the other thing is the standards development, to make sure when these fuels are available they can be safely supplied in Singapore port,” she added.

The 15th SMW runs from 19 – 23 April and will comprise a mix of 19 hybrid and online events, with over 100 speakers and 6,000 participants.

Included in these events will be the annual Singapore Maritime Lecture where Yee Yang Chien, President and CEO of MISC will deliver a keynote speech “Making the Future Possible”.

There will also be Sea Asia virtual preview co-organised by Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) and Informa Markets.

Tan Beng Tee, Executive Director of SMF said: “Singapore is in a very good place for businesses to meet and share views and also demonstrate thought leadership and this will be done through Sea Asia. We are holding a virtual Sea Asia this time around with a bigger hybrid event in September.”

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