Can biofuels become a sustainable alternative fuel for Singapore’s marine sector?

The inaugural biofuel roundtable was held recently in Singapore to drive discussions on the use of biofuels as a sustainable alternative fuel for the future of shipping in Singapore.

Organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), BHP and GoodFuels Marine, the roundtable brought together shipowners of different ship types to share their insights on the use of biofuels to meet increasingly stringent maritime environmental regulations, as well as discuss potential areas of collaboration. Also discussed were barriers to the use of biofuels and how to overcome these barriers.

Representatives from Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) soon to be established centre of excellence focusing on maritime environment and energy, with support from MPA and the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI), also participated to seek collaborative partnerships with shipowners to deepen Singapore’s capabilities on the maritime environment and bioenergy front.

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.

“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,” said MPA Chief Executive Andrew Tan.

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.

MPA Director (Sustainability Office) Tan Suan Jow also discussed MPA’s ongoing efforts towards a clean, green and community-oriented port, as MPA prepares for Singapore’s future port.