SINGAPORE - A green initiative to manage ships' sulphur emissions will be enhanced to focus on reducing carbon emissions for the next five years, among a slew of measures announced by Singapore's shipping authority to ready ship owners and operators for the future.
The Maritime Singapore Green Initiative, due to expire at end-2019, will also be extended by five years to end-2024, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) chief executive Quah Ley Hoon said on Friday. Among MPA's key sustainability programmes, the initiative was launched in 2011.
As part of its enhancement, there will be new incentives to encourage the adoption of engines using low-carbon fuels like liquefied natural gas (LNG) as well as the use of LNG bunker during port stay.
"Our future state must be one that is powered by greener fuels, new shipping capabilities, new maritime talent, interoperable digital platforms and players beyond the traditional realm of maritime," Ms Quah said in a speech outlining future shipping trends and the MPA's plans moving forward, which include going green and going digital.
She was speaking at the Singapore Registry of Ships Forum 2019 held at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.
Ms Quah noted that the MPA has been enhancing digital connectivity with customers, by progressively digitalising many of the services offered by its One Stop Document Centre (OSDC) and the Singapore Registry of Ships through enhancements on the Marinet platform.
By the start of 2020, all services provided by the OSDC will be fully digital and on Marinet, as the physical counter gradually gets phased out from Dec 1. The counter will be open for half a day before it is fully closed from Jan 1, 2020.
In addition, digitalPORT@SG, a digital platform that allows seamless data exchange between public and private sectors on the global maritime transport chain announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat last week, will be linked to all Marinet e-services starting December, with Marinet users progressively migrated over to the platform.
Amidst the disruption in the sector, Ms Quah said Singapore's maritime workforce must remain relevant and take on new skills.
To that end, the Tripartite Maritime Scholarship will be enhanced with the introduction of a new mid-term scholarship for Certificate of Competency 3/5 holders. They will get a $30,000 sign-on bonus and allowances to cover related course expenses.
MPA, SkillsFuture Singapore and Workforce Singapore have also jointly developed the Professional Conversion Programme for Sea Transport Professionals to help mid-career local professionals, managers, executives and technicians to take up new maritime jobs.