The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has announced that International Maritime University of Panama (UMIP) has been selected to host the regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC) for the Latin America region, under an ambitious project, funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by IMO, to help mitigate the harmful effects of climate change.
Under the Global MTTC Network (GMN) project, UMIP will host MTCC-Latin America. The selection of UMIP followed a competitive international tendering process.
UMIP joins MTCCs in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. In February, IMO announced that Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) will host MTCC-Africa. In December 2016, IMO announced that Shanghai Maritime University in China will host MTCC-Asia, while the University of Trinidad and Tobago will host MTCC-Caribbean.
One further MTCC will be established in the Pacific, to form a global network of five centres.
The regional MTCCs will deliver the agreed project milestones over a three-year period, making a significant contribution to IMO’s continuing, widespread efforts to ensure effective implementation and enforcement of the global energy-efficiency regulations for international shipping.
The MTCCs will receive allocations from the €10 million European Union funding for the project. They will be established and resourced to become regional centres of excellence, providing leadership in promoting ship energy-efficiency technologies and operations, and the reduction of harmful emissions from ships.
Aims of the GMN project
Greenhouse gas emissions from shipping are expected to increase but developing countries, which play a significant role in international shipping, often lack the means to improve energy efficiency in their shipping sectors. This project, formally entitled “Capacity Building for Climate Change Mitigation in the Maritime Shipping Industry” will enable developing countries, especially Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States, in the target regions to effectively implement energy-efficiency measures through technical assistance, capacity building and promoting technical cooperation.
The project will be implemented through the network of MTCCs which, once operational, will act as focal point for:
• improving capability in the region – by working with maritime administrations, port authorities, other relevant government departments and related shipping stakeholders to facilitate compliance with international regulations on energy efficiency for ships
• promoting the uptake of low-carbon technologies and operations in the maritime sector through pilot projects
• raising awareness about policies, strategies and measures for the reduction of ghg and other emissions from the maritime transport sector
• demonstrating a pilot-scale system for collecting data and reporting on ships’ fuel consumption to improve shipowners’ and maritime administrations’ understanding in this regard, and
• developing and implementing strategies to sustain the impact of MTCC results and activities beyond the project time-line.
International Maritime University of Panama (UMIP)
UMIP is a public university funded by the Panamanian Government and, by law, is the official higher education institution specialized in maritime education and training of the Republic of Panama. The university’s scope involves all areas related to the maritime sector, including all aspects of shipping, maritime infrastructure and services, coastal, marine, and environmental protection.
UMIP has developed specialized training programs for the maritime industry, including short courses, bachelor degrees, graduate studies and master’s degrees. The institute has also been involved in research together with national and international organizations, such as Panama Canal Authority, Japan International Cooperation Agency and Central American Superior Council of Universities.
MTCC-Latin America will be located at UMIP. It will use the office space, equipment, IT infrastructure and staff of the University, which is strategically located close to the Port of the city of Panama.