MPA and Port of Rotterdam Build World's Longest Green and Digital Corridor for Efficient and Environmentally Responsible Shipping

Published on: 03 August 2022
by KnowESG
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The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Port of Rotterdam Authority have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to create the world's longest Green and Digital Corridor to facilitate low-and zero-carbon shipping.

Ms. Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive Officer of MPA, and Mr. Allard Castelein, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, signed the MoU at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre on the sidelines of the biennial World Cities Summit. 

The MoU will bring together stakeholders across the supply chain to realise the first sustainable vessels sailing on the route by 2027. Mr. S. Iswaran, Minister for Transport and Minister-in-Charge of Trade Relations for Singapore, and Mr. Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, witnessed the signing.

Singapore and Rotterdam are two of the world's major bunkering ports, making them crucial linkages in the Asian-European maritime lanes.

Even though marine gas oil (MGO) and low-sulphur fuel oil are the predominant fuels for international shipping, biofuels, especially biogas, are gradually becoming available as sustainable alternatives. 

Other possibilities, including synthetic methane, hydrogen, and hydrogen-based fuels, such as ammonia and methanol, are in various stages of research and development for future trials and deployment.

Each alternative fuel has its pricing, availability, safety, and range limitations due to its lower energy density compared to fossil fuels. To address these issues, the two port authorities agreed to assemble a broad coalition of shippers, fuel suppliers, and other businesses to collaborate on potential solutions.

The MoU intends to improve marine efficiency, safety, and the flow of commodities transparently by establishing a digital commerce lane in which relevant data, electronic documentation, and standards are shared. It will improve the timely arrival of vessels from port to port and promote the smooth flow of boats and cargo.

As action partners, the port authorities will collaborate with the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation and the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Centre for Zero-Carbon Shipping, as well as other industry partners across the supply chain, such as bp, CMA CGM, Digital Container Shipping Association, Maersk, MSC, Ocean Network Express, PSA International, and Shell.

It will allow the Green and Digital Corridor initiative to increase investor trust, attract green funding, and launch collaborative bunkering pilots and trials for digitalisation and the use of low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels along the corridor.

Mr. S. Iswaran, Minister for Transport and Minister-in-Charge of Trade Relations, Singapore, said: 

“Decarbonising shipping is an urgent climate action priority, which requires the collective efforts of the entire maritime sector. As a trusted global maritime hub, Singapore contributes actively to IMO’s efforts to make international shipping more sustainable, and global supply chains more resilient. This MoU with the Port of Rotterdam demonstrates how like-minded partners can work together to complement the efforts of the IMO. It will serve as a valuable platform to pilot ideas that can be scaled up for more sustainable international shipping.”

Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, said: 

“Shipping is among the most important industries to decarbonise, owing to its large international reach and volume, which continues to grow. By bringing together parties across the supply chain along one of the world’s biggest trade lanes, we can enable carriers to switch to zero-carbon fuels and speed up the transition to more sustainable shipping”.

Ms. Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of MPA, said: 

“This MoU further strengthens the strong partnership between Singapore and Rotterdam. It reaffirms Singapore’s commitment to facilitating a multi-fuel bunkering transition as part of the Maritime Singapore Decarbonisation Blueprint 2050 and accelerates our digitalisation efforts to optimise maritime efficiency and improve supply chain resilience. The pilot will complement efforts undertaken by the shipping industry, including partners such as Google Cloud, and the IMO to support decarbonisation and digitalisation transition for international shipping, as we work towards developing and scaling up green and digital solutions for wider adoption.” 

Source: Port of Rotterdam

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