The inaugural biofuel roundtable was held in Singapore today to drive discussions on the use of biofuels as a sustainable alternative fuel for the future of shipping. Organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), BHP and GoodFuels Marine (GoodFuels), the closed-door roundtable event brought together shipowners of different ship types to network, share insights into the use of biofuels to meet increasingly stringent environmental regulations as well as explore areas of collaboration.
The Nanyang Technological University soon to be established centre of excellence focusing on maritime environment & energy, with support from MPA and the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI), was also present to seek collaborative partnerships with shipowners to deepen Singapore’s capabilities on the maritime environment and bio-energy front. (See Annex A for the list of participating companies)
With support from MPA, BHP and GoodFuels also signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to collaborate on a biofuels pilot project in Singapore, which is expected to be carried out early next year.
Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA, said, “We are pleased to facilitate discussions on the biofuels front along with our partners, BHP and GoodFuels. The roundtable comes at an opportune time in light of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 0.5% global sulphur cap on marine fuels which will come into effect from 2020, as well as IMO’s longer term plan to lower carbon emissions for shipping. MPA welcomes dialogues across stakeholders and will continue to work with relevant parties as we prepare the bunkering industry for the future.”
Mr Abdes Karimi, Manager Ocean Freight Operations & Sustainability of BHP, said, “In a world fighting to combat climate change, it is important that marine biofuels get in the ‘evoked set’ of options for shippers to choose from. Today, BHP is proud to have taken the leading role in this initiative.”
Mr Dirk Kronemeijer, Chief Executive Officer of GoodFuels, said, “We are very proud that our ‘biofuel-footprint’ of supply locations and sustainable customers is spreading from Europe to the largest bunkering port in the world and our first Asian partner as well. From now on, sustainable marine biofuels are available in Singapore for those ship and freight owners that want to eliminate their carbon and sulphur emissions.”
As the largest bunkering hub in the world, Singapore is working towards providing cleaner alternative sources of fuel to cater to the future energy needs of the global shipping industry. Among the topics discussed at the roundtable included barriers to the use to biofuels and how these could be addressed. Director (Sustainability Office) of MPA, Mr Tan Suan Jow, also shared about ongoing efforts towards a clean, green and community-oriented port as MPA prepares for Singapore’s future port.