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Singapore and Shipping Industry Establish $90M Decarbonization Center

$90 decarbonization center in Singapore
(file photo)

Published Apr 21, 2021 5:35 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore is joining with six leading companies from the shipping industry to establish a maritime decarbonization center. The center, which will have an initial budget of US$90 million was one of the recommendations from the International Advisory Panel on Maritime Decarbonization representing industry, academia and government created last summer in Singapore. The MPA also announced a second program with the government’s investment fund to explore other opportunities in the decarbonization of the maritime industry.

The founding members of the new decarbonization center are BW Group, Sembcorp Marine, Eastern Pacific Shipping, Ocean Network Express, Foundation Det Norske Veritas, and BHP. Each has agreed to contribute US$7.5 million to fund the research programs. The MPA will provide an additional $45 million for the center.

“Maritime decarbonization is a global challenge requiring a collective responsibility from all stakeholders involved,” said Ms. Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of MPA. “It is crucial to have strong public-private sector partnerships. We thank like-minded partners that have responded strongly to our call for collaboration. The agreements signed today are two initial steps, which we hope will catalyze a larger, much-needed momentum to make international shipping more sustainable.”

The center’s mission is to facilitate decarbonization in the maritime sector over the next five years. It will support research and technology development projects in the areas of greenhouse gas emissions reduction, and collaborations with higher education institutes and research bodies.

“Collaboration is key to progress on the decarbonization pathway,” said Cristina Saenz de Santa Maria, Regional Manager South East Asia, Pacific & India, Maritime at DNV, who represented the class society at the signing event. “At DNV, we are pleased to widen the scope of our longstanding cooperation with MPA by sharing our technical competence and industry knowledge in this maritime decarbonization center. Together with leading shipping firms in the region, we look forward to supporting the adoption of new low- and zero-carbon solutions which will help to reach the IMO greenhouse gas reduction targets.” 

Each of the founding companies also spoke of the importance of cross-border, cross-sector collaboration and knowledge sharing to finding solutions for the industry. “Sustainability begins with accountability and maritime leaders have a responsibility to implement emission-lowering solutions available today while simultaneously developing solutions for tomorrow,” said Cyril Ducau, Chief Executive Officer, Eastern Pacific Shipping. “The formation of a maritime decarbonization center is a major milestone, combining forces of both public and private industry players. It proves that the sector is willing to band together and take ownership of environmental preservation for future generations.”

As a further sign of Singapore’s commitment to decarbonization efforts, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, Temasek, also agreed with the MPA to explore collaborations related to the decarbonization of port operations, development and use of low-carbon or alternative marine energy sources, and decarbonization of the other parts of the global and regional maritime supply chain.