New marine research lab at NTU to develop eco-friendly technologies

The Sembcorp Marine Lab was officially opened at Nanyang Technological University on Dec 6, 2016.
The Sembcorp Marine Lab was officially opened at Nanyang Technological University on Dec 6, 2016. PHOTO: NTU
NTU’s new marine research lab is equipped with the region’s first dual-fuel marine engine, which will allow researchers to study ways to retrofit ships to operate using two fuel types simultaneously.
NTU’s new marine research lab is equipped with the region’s first dual-fuel marine engine, which will allow researchers to study ways to retrofit ships to operate using two fuel types simultaneously. PHOTO: NTU

SINGAPORE - A new marine research lab, officially opened on Wednesday (Dec 7), will look at ways to help shipping companies go green more cost effectively.

Researchers at the Sembcorp Marine Lab at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) will study ways for ships to be retrofitted and modified so they can use both diesel and clean fuel at the same time.

Shipping companies now face hefty costs when overhauling their ships to use clean fuels instead of diesel, and when installing a new engine to process clean fuel.

The lab was officially opened by Mr Wong Weng Sun, president and chief executive officer of Sembcorp Marine.

Sembcorp Marine has contributed $10 million to fund the lab, which also aims to develop solutions in fuel emission management and energy efficiency.

"With the opening of the Sembcorp Marine Lab at NTU, the offshore and marine sector now has a new research venue for investigating eco-friendly energy solutions, including clean and renewable fuels for marine engines, and emission control technologies," Mr Wong said.

Professor Lua Aik Chong, acting executive director of Maritime Institute at NTU and professor-in-charge of the new lab, said the lab comes at an important time amid rising energy demands and environmental concerns about carbon emissions and global warming.

"With international bodies already taking action, the lab will help the industry prepare for the changes, by providing viable and cost effective solutions."

The lab is equipped with the region's first dual-fuel marine engine, which can burn both diesel and liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the same time. Funded and supported by the Economic Development Board, the engine will be used to study fuel combustion and how companies can cut costs while going green. 

The lab will also serve as a test bed. Researchers will work with industry partners and government agencies such as the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore on maritime-related research projects.