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Singapore readies for sustainable shipping ahead of IMO 2020 rule

Singapore — Singapore is getting ready for the upcoming environmental regulations in shipping with a slew of initiatives to promote cleaner marine fuels, Singapore's Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health, Lam Pin Min, said on Wednesday.

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"With the impending global sulfur limit and the IMO's commitment to halve carbon emissions by 2050, the bunker industry in Singapore is at an inflexion point," he said during the opening ceremony at the 20th edition of the Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore has set aside $5 million to co-fund the research and development of alternative fuels ahead of IMO's global sulfur limit rule for marine fuels.

Singapore is also working on several other initiatives as it readies for 2020.

MPA is working closely with the industry to ensure that Singapore is ready to supply low sulfur compliant fuels ahead of January 1, 2020, he said, adding that the MPA will make available the list of licenced bunker suppliers of low sulfur fuels in Singapore by mid-2019.

MPA has also made good progress on LNG bunkering in Singapore over the last few years, he said.

To kick start the use of LNG as a marine fuel, MPA has co-funded the construction of eight LNG-fueled vessels.

The first two were delivered in 2018 to Keppel SMIT Towage and Maju Maritime, which have since conducted a total of 15 LNG bunkering operations, he added.

"We expect this number to grow as more LNG-fueled vessels are delivered," he said.

Outside of Singapore, the MPA continues to work closely with like-minded ports through the LNG Bunkering Port Focus Group, he said.

To add greater momentum towards making LNG bunkering a reality, the MPA said on Wednesday, it had welcomed the Suez Canal Economic Zone Authority, the first member from Middle East, into the focus group.

The expansion was formalized after signing a memorandum of understanding at SIBCON, it said.

Separately, MPA said it had also recently joined SEA\LNG's membership coalition to further drive its efforts and align them with the global LNG bunkering supply chain.

SEA\LNG is a global coalition of players in the LNG shipping value chain targeted to drive the widespread adoption of LNG as a marine fuel.

--Surabhi Sahu, surabhi.sahu@spglobal.com

--Edited by Liz Thang, elizabeth.thang@spglobal.com