Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with six companies to establish the Maritime Decarbonisation Centre to be set up in Singapore.
Under the MoC, BW Group, Sembcorp Marine, Eastern Pacific Shipping, Ocean Network Express, Foundation Det Norske Veritas and BHP have pledged to contribute S$10 million (approximately AU$9.7 million) each to support the establishment of the centre and fund research and technology development projects in areas relating to decarbonisation in the maritime industry.
MPA will add S$60 million R&D funding to these contributions, bringing the fund to a total of S$120 million (approximately AU$116 million).
The Maritime Decarbonisation Centre will be a focal point for the global maritime industry’s efforts in both decarbonisation and innovation, bringing together experts and the industry, including start-ups to develop technologies and co-create innovative solutions.
The centre will collaborate with other maritime technology centres based in Singapore as well as decarbonisation centres around the world to share knowledge and build capabilities.
The centre will support trials of new fuels and technologies. It will include facilities for corporate labs, research facilities and house research offices and space for maritime tech start-ups.
MPA’s Chief Executive, Quah Ley Hoon, said: “Maritime decarbonisation is a global challenge requiring a collective responsibility from all stakeholders involved. 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 agreement signed today is a first step, which we hope will catalyse a larger, much-needed momentum to make international shipping more sustainable.”
BHP’s Chief Commercial Officer, Vandita Pant, said the pathway to decarbonisation in the maritime sector will accelerate with the innovation centre and the spirit of collaboration with which MPA and its partners are approaching and investing in new technology.
“The opportunity to achieve real reductions in industry footprint with this collaboration is great. It builds on a number of partnerships that BHP has struck across our value chain to seek to accelerate decarbonisation,” Ms Pant said.
BHP’s Vice President of Maritime and Supply Chain Excellence, Rashpal Bhatti, said MPA has a strong commitment to bringing industry together to create a cleaner and greener industry.
“The MoC with MPA forms an integral component of BHP’s four pillars in our strategy for supporting decarbonisation of our maritime supply chain – data democratisation, onboard innovations, future fuels and chartering choices.”
BHP was part of the first marine biofuel trial involving an ocean-going vessel bunkered in Singapore on 4 April 2021 and has led the industry in its support for maritime emissions reduction initiatives, including awarding the world’s first LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carrier tender and the first LNG supply agreement for these LNG-fuelled iron ore vessels.