Aim for net-zero emissions by 2050

Port operator PSA Singapore is aiming for Tuas Port to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Transport Minister S. Iswaran said yesterday that a first "super low-energy building" at Tuas maintenance base already generates enough solar energy to offset the electricity consumption of nearby workshops and an administration building.

Besides green infrastructure, Tuas Port, when fully operational, will also use electric vehicles and equipment and rely on smart management so Singapore can do its part to tackle the climate crisis, he said.

He added: "To be ready for the future, we must address the challenge of climate change... Using transshipment ports like Singapore is (already) the most sustainable way to transport cargo.

"By consolidating cargo on larger ships and reducing direct sailings between ports, transshipment cuts emissions from shipping."

Mr Iswaran was speaking at an event commemorating the completion of Tuas Port Phase 1.

He stressed that environmental protection was balanced with port development in both planning and the construction process. For instance, coral colonies were relocated to St John's and Sisters' islands during Phase 1 works, and cement mortar patches were added to land reclamation structures underwater to promote coral growth and marine life.

Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) chairman Niam Chiang Meng also said his agency was invested in a green port.

Clay from seabeds was used in land reclamation, and MPA is working with the National Environment Agency to explore using mixed materials from Semakau Landfill for the next phases. MPA is further looking into the use of greener concrete with lower carbon content to align the project more closely with the nation's green plan.

Yesterday also coincided with MPA's 25th anniversary, and 50 maritime personnel received the new MaritimeSG Care Awards for their outstanding role in keeping Singapore's maritime operations afloat during the pandemic.

One of the recipients was Mr Shaun Gerald D'Souza, a chief engineer with Executive Ship Management.

To help crew infected with Covid-19 who needed oxygen support, he improvised with industrial oxygen bottles as medical oxygen had run out.

He then managed the engine room despite a reduced crew, powering it amid winds and 4m-high waves to reach the rendezvous point for an airlift for the serious cases.

Mr Iswaran said: "This sounds like a scene from a movie."

Clement Yong

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2021, with the headline Aim for net-zero emissions by 2050. Subscribe