The Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) crossed the 95 million gross tonnage milestone in 2019 and maintained its position among the top registries in the world. Themed “2020 & Beyond”, the SRS Forum held by Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) today around 200 attendees from shipping companies and other maritime entities based in Singapore.
MPA announced several new initiatives at the Forum that would help ship owners and operators to (i) take steps to contribute to environmental sustainability and be greener, (ii) improve operational efficiency through digitalisation and (iii) develop skilled maritime professionals.
Adopting environmentally sustainable measures
Enhancing Maritime Singapore Green Initiative
As a key maritime nation, Singapore is committed to promoting environmental sustainability of the industry. MPA has reviewed its Maritime Singapore Green Initiative (MSGI) to keep it relevant, with a new focus on decarbonisation.
Under the enhanced MSGI, new carbon emissions-related incentives will replace existing sulphur emissions-related ones in the Green Ship Programme and Green Port Programme. The Green Ship Programme will also have a new incentive to encourage adoption of engines using alternative fuels with lower carbon content such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), while the Green Port Programme will introduce new incentives for the use of LNG bunker during port stay and for ships exceeding IMO’s Energy Efficiency Design Index requirements.
The MSGI programmes will be extended for another five years to 31 December 2024. MPA will issue a Shipping Circular and Port Marine Circular with more details.
Making LNG Bunkering More Pervasive
As a cleaner and greener fuel, LNG can contribute to IMO’s 2050 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Singapore is on track to be LNG-bunkering ready. MPA has supported the building of two LNG bunker vessels to facilitate ship-to-ship LNG bunkering for ocean-going vessels from Q3 2020 onwards. MPA is also preparing for the first simultaneous operations for LNG bunkering and cargo operations to take place next year.
Improving Operational Efficiency through Digitalisation of MPA Services
Beyond physical connectivity, MPA is strengthening the digital connectivity of our port. By end 2019, all services provided by MPA’s One Stop Document Centre (OSDC) at Tanjong Pagar Complex will be available on the Marinet website. With all services available online, OSDC will gradually phase out counter services. The counters will only open from 08:30 to 12:30 starting 1 December 2019, and eventually close from 1 January 2020. MPA has also installed self-service tablets at OSDC for those who need to perform these services online.
Developing Skilled Maritime Professionals
To help the industry meet its manpower needs, MPA, SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and Workforce Singapore have jointly developed the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for Sea Transport Professionals. The PCP will help mid–career local PMETs from either within or outside of the maritime industry to transit and take up new maritime jobs. (Please refer to Annex for the details.)
In joint collaboration with SSG, MPA also rolled out the Work-Study Programme for ship-owning, operating and broking, which provides fresh polytechnic graduates with a headstart in their careers related to their discipline of study by acquiring relevant work experience and building on their skills and knowledge acquired in school. Administered by the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS), participants of the 18-month programme will undergo structured on-the-job training, facilitated learning, and mentorship. Upon completion of the programme, participants will receive an internationally recognised certificate awarded by the ICS.
To continue attracting talent to seafaring, the Tripartite Maritime Scholarship (TMSS) has been enhanced to introduce a new mid-term TMSS scholarship for Certificate of Competency (CoC) 3/5 holders, which will provide a $30,000 sign-on bonus, allowances as well as cover the costs of subsequent CoC and other compulsory course fees. The mid-term TMSS scholarship will widen the pool of potential applicants and encourage more to continue their seafaring career. Individuals with a strong seafaring background will have good career opportunities in shore-based jobs.
MPA’s Assistant Chief Executive (Operations) Captain M Segar said, “More ship owners and operators in the industry have begun to look beyond the challenges and opportunities in the horizon with the advent of disruption caused by digitalisation and decarbonisation. MPA will support the transformation of the industry, to position Maritime Singapore to adapt and maintain a competitive edge in today’s global environment.”