Ports partner on 'world's longest green shipping corridor'

3 August 2022

Singapore and Rotterdam are planning to create the world’s longest green corridor to enable low and zero carbon shipping between the two ports.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Port of Rotterdam have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which aims to have the first sustainable vessels sailing on the route by 2027. 

Singapore and Rotterdam are two of the word’s largest bunkering – refuelling – ports and function as vital hubs on the Asian-European shipping lanes. 

The two ports will look at alternatives to the mainstream fuels currently used by international shipping: marine gas oil and low-sulphur fuel oil.

These are likely to include biofuels and biogases, as well as synthetic methane.

The use of hydrogen-based fuels including ammonia and methanol are also being researched. 

“Each alternative fuel has its own challenges relating to costs, availability, safety, and restrictions in range due to lower energy density compared to fossil fuels,” said the two ports in a statement.

“To tackle these challenges, the two port authorities agreed to bring together a broad coalition of shippers, fuel suppliers and other companies to collectively work on potential solutions.”

As part of the deal the ports are also aiming to optimise efficiency and safety by creating a digital trade lane to share data, electronic documentation and standards. 

“This will facilitate the seamless movement of vessels and cargo, and optimise just-in-time arrival of vessels from port to port,” said the ports.  

Partners in the venture will include the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation and the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero-Carbon Shipping.

Supply chains partners will include bp, CMA CGM, Digital Container Shipping Association, Maersk, MSC, Ocean Network Express, PSA International, and Shell. 

This ports said having a wide range of supply chain partners would enable the Green and Digital Corridor project to raise investment confidence, attract green financing and facilitate digitalisation and the use of low-and zero carbon fuels along the route.

Quah Ley Hoon, chief executive of MPA said the MoU “reaffirms Singapore’s commitment towards 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.”

Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam, 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.”

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