French hydrogen-powered vessel sails to the S'pore Francophonie Festival

The Energy Observer will arrive in Sentosa Cove, its only stopover in Asia, from March 10 to 20. PHOTO: EMBASSY OF FRANCE

SINGAPORE - A hydrogen-powered ship will sail into Singapore as part of this year's Francophonie Festival.

French zero-emission hydrogen-powered vessel Energy Observer will arrive in Sentosa Cove, its only stopover in Asia, from March 10 to 20.

The vessel is on a world tour to promote sustainable solutions in newer energy technologies. The public may visit exhibition forums and learn about its expeditions to accelerate ecological transition on March 19 and 20 at One 15 Marina's Open House Pavilion.

Its arrival will open the 10th edition of the annual festival, which runs from March 10 to 28 this year with the theme of sustainability.

The festival celebrating linguistic and cultural diversity is helmed jointly by the Embassies of France and Mexico, the latter of which was recently appointed as the observer state to the francophonie, or the French-speaking world.

Mr Marc Abensour, 55, Ambassador of France to Singapore, says: "Globally, the francophonie constitutes 300 million people spanning five continents. This festival is a testament to cultural cooperation in domains of science, art, innovation and dynamism towards forging an emerging francophonie identity together."

Mr Agustin Garcia Lopez, 60, Ambassador of Mexico to Singapore, says: "The theme resonates with the global agenda following the Paris Agreement and subsequent climate negotiations, more recently the (climate summits) COP26 and COP15."

The festival has 18 programmes for the public, including screenings of films such as La Croisade (The Crusade, 2021) and L'Homme Dauphin (The Dolphin Man, 2017) at the Alliance Francaise Singapore.

In a series of culinary classes at EHL Campus (Singapore), participants can learn to cook dishes from Canada, Mexico, Egypt and other countries.

Last year's edition of the festival, which centred on gender equality, drew more than 20,000 people. This year, the organisers hope to attract more than 22,000 participants.

Book It/ Singapore Francophonie Festival

Where: Open House Pavilion, One 15 Marina, 11 Cove Drive, Sentosa Cove; sustainability screenings at Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Drive; sustainable food market Francophone-Eat at EHL Campus (Singapore), 3 Lady Hill Road; film screenings at Alliance Francaise, 1 Sarkies Road

When: March 10 to 28, various timings

Admission: Film screenings at Gardens by the Bay and culinary classes at EHL Campus (Singapore) are free. Film screenings at the Alliance Francaise are $15 each. Events are only for those who are vaccinated, and strictly upon successful registration at the Singapore Francophonie Festival website.

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