The Business Times: Goodies, discounts for ships flying green flag

The Business Times reported that the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has launched a $100 million Maritime Singapore Green Initiative to incentivise environmentally-friendly shipping practices. See story below.

Goodies, discounts for ships flying green flag

$100m incentive for cleaner fuels, more efficient design

(SINGAPORE) Singapore is throwing its weight behind green shipping to the tune of $100 million.

This means ships will find that it pays to go with the green flow. Singapore- registered ships that surpass certain energy-efficient design standards will get their initial registration fees halved, while ships that use qualifying low-sulphur fuel will get a 15 per cent discount on their port dues bill, among various things.

These and an assortment of goodies for shipping firms that toe the green line are part of the $100 million Maritime Singapore Green Initiative by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

Launched yesterday by Raymond Lim, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, the $100 million initiative will be funnelled through three programmes – the Green Ship Programme, Green Port Programme and Green Technology Programme – over the next five years.

The programmes offer a mix of rebates and reductions on various shipping charges now levied. ‘This initiative underscores Singapore’s commitment as a responsible flag and port state to clean and green shipping,’ said Mr Lim.

Under the Green Ship Programme, for example, Singapore-flagged ships that exceed the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) requirements of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will see a 50 per cent reduction in initial registration fees and a 20 per cent rebate on the annual tonnage tax payable.

The EEDI stipulates a minimum energy efficiency level for new ships, among several things.

The Green Port Programme, on the other hand, will gun for pollutants like sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides. Ships that call at Singapore using low-sulphur fuels that qualify or approved emission abatement or scrubber technologies will see their port dues bill slashed 15 per cent.

Both the Green Ship Programme and the Green Port Programme are expected to cost MPA $50 million of the total $100 million set aside.

Of the remaining $50 million, $25 million from the Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) Fund will be earmarked for the Green Technology Programme. This programme will co-fund up to half of the qualifying costs that a local maritime firm incurs in developing and using green technology. If the response to it is good, MPA is prepared to pump in another $25 million from the $100 million kitty.

‘The three Green Programmes will enhance shipping’s environmental image, and raise the social awareness of Singapore’s shipping community, as we take on an even more active role in further reducing greenhouse gas emission from shipping,’ said SS Teo, president of the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA).

A significant chunk of the industry pledged its support yesterday, with both the maritime and offshore sectors represented at the Maritime Singapore Green Pledge signing ceremony, along with MPA and SSA.

‘Environmental challenges are some of the most critical challenges facing the maritime industry today. These challenges are multi-faceted and require joint efforts from governments and the industry,’ said MPA chief executive Lam Yi Young.

From the container and tanker side, Maersk Line Asia Pacific, Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), Pacific International Lines and Ocean Tankers took part in the signing yesterday, while the port front was represented by Jurong Port and PSA Corporation. NOL also announced its plans to switch to low-sulphur gas oil for all 80 of its vessels calling at Singapore, and other liners might soon follow suit.

Where ports are concerned, Jurong Port is looking at introducing cold ironing – using a land-based source of power for vessels that are in port – in its operations. It will explore supplying vessels with cleaner energy generated by Singapore’s grid.

PSA Corporation’s regional chief executive officer for Southeast Asia, Tan Puay Hin, said that his firm would not rule out the option of cold ironing and had been exploring the possibility of using it in future or existing ports, as well. ‘The adoption part is a concern at this time,’ said Mr Tan.

BP Singapore, Keppel Offshore & Marine, Sembcorp Marine and Shell Marine Products signed the pledge as well. This was witnessed by Mr Lim; Lim Hwee Hua, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Finance and Transport; Choi Shing Kwok, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Transport; and Lucien Wong, chairman of MPA.

The signing took place during the Singapore International Maritime Awards 2011 at the Shangri-La Hotel. AP Moller-Maersk Group took home the International Maritime Centre Award while its liner peer, Pacific International Lines, was named SRS Ship Owner of the Year.

Ezra Holdings clinched the Special Mention Award while the Maritime Service Provider Award was given to Clarkson Asia Pte Ltd. The yards – Sembawang Shipyard Pte Ltd and Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd – were given the Offshore & Marine Engineering Award and the Excellence in Training Development Award, respectively.

Mobile satellite communications firm THISS Technologies Pte Ltd was given the Outstanding Maritime R&D and Technology Award and Sentek Marine & Trading Pte Ltd received the Bunker Award.

In keeping with the drive towards green shipping, for the next round of awards, there will be an additional category open for contention: the SRS Green Ship of the Year award.

Image taken from caseorganic

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