COS 2022: Maritime Decarbonisation and Bunkering

MP Dennis Tan

Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong (Hougang)

Mr Chairman, I declare my interest as a maritime lawyer.

In August 2021, the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) was set up by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and six partner maritime organisations and companies to, I quote, “Support decarbonisation of the maritime industry to meet or exceed the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)’s goals for 2030 and 2050.”

Its stated goals were, among other things, and I quote again, “Lower the adoption barriers for low zero carbon fuels and technologies by closing the gaps in infrastructure, safety operations and financing, and to accelerate the deployment of scalable low-carbon technologies.” 

The opening of the Centre and the Centre’s aims are, indeed, befitting of our port as a leading bunkering port in the world as well as one of the busiest ports in the world and one of the major world maritime hubs. Singapore should aim to take the lead to hasten the development and adoption of low or zero carbon fuels for commercial shipping at this critical time.

The International Advisory Panel on Maritime Decarbonisation had earlier proposed the establishment of this Global Maritime/Decarbonisation Centre in Singapore to coordinate drive and catalyse maritime decarbonisation solutions. MPA has recently reported that in 2021, Singapore has kept its position as the top bunkering port, registering total bunker sales volume of 50.04 million tonnes in 2021. Of this, the bulk of the sales volume, 49.99 million tonnes to be exact, were conventional bunker sales, while only 0.5 million tonnes were in LNG bunker sales.

It was reported that Singapore commenced regular ship-to-ship LNG bunkering operations from March last year and that Singapore will continue to diversify our fuel offerings in line with our push for maritime decarbonisation. Indeed, LNG itself may not even be a long-term solution. The industry may have to push on to better low, if not zero, carbon fuels. There is not much time for all stakeholders in the maritime industry in the world to achieve the goals set by IMO to halve greenhouse emissions from 2008 levels by 2050. There is much to do in our search for affordable zero carbon fuels. I hope the GCMD will enable Singapore to spearhead the push among leading maritime nations.

Will the Minister share with this House his hopes for the GCMD and also his expectation of what Singapore hopes to achieve for its bunker sales in terms of lower carbon offerings in the coming five, 10 and perhaps 20 years?

8 March 2022
Ministry of Transport

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