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SINGAPORE has taken one more step to encourage the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a sustainable alternative fuel source in the maritime industry.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said on Friday that, beginning July 1, it has extended the Green Ship Programme (GSP) incentives to ships using LNG.
The GSP encourages Singapore-flagged ships to reduce carbon-dioxide and sulphur-oxide emissions. Qualifying Singapore-flagged ships can enjoy a reduction of initial registration fees and a rebate on annual tonnage tax.
More than 50 per cent of qualifying ships for GSP have exceeded the current Energy Efficiency Design Index set out by the International Maritime Organization, according to MPA.
GSP falls under MPA's Maritime Singapore Green Initiative (MSGI) launched in 2011.
The MSGI also includes the Green Port Programme (GPP) and the Green Technology Programme (GTP). MPA has enhanced the two programmes, which have attracted strong support from the maritime industry.
GTP extends grants to maritime players developing and adopting green technological solutions. GPP applies to ocean-going ships that use approved abatement or scrubber technology or burn clean fuels. Qualifying ships under GPP are granted concessions in port dues.
GTP saw the uptake of more than 20 projects involving over 60 vessels. The encouraging results have prompted MPA to extend GTP until Dec 31, 2019. GTP extends grants to maritime players developing and adopting green technological solutions.
GPP, another voluntary scheme targeting ships calling at the Port of Singapore, has achieved considerable success, with more than 3,700 vessel calls switched to marine fuel of not more than one per cent sulphur content.
MPA has decided to lower the sulphur oxide's limit under GPP further to 0.5 per cent for ships calling at Singapore port. Qualifying ships enjoy a flat rate of 25 per cent concession in port dues for the use of low sulphur fuel during their entire port stay. A similar concession is also extended to ships using LNG at the Singapore port.
Apart from enhancing the MSGI programmes, MPA is also introducing two new programmes under the MSGI - The Green Awareness Programme (GAP) and the Green Energy Programme (GEP).
GAP focuses on creating awareness on possible avenues towards sustainable shipping. Other than the Maritime Singapore Green Pledge and regular sustainability workshops and forums, MPA will also be awarding the first SEC-MPA Singapore Environmental Achievement Award (Maritime) this year.
The award serves to recognise maritime companies that are at the forefront of sustainability efforts. In addition, to assist companies in preparation for sustainability/integrated (S/I) reporting, MPA is co-funding the consultancy fees paid by listed shipping companies that wish to produce their S/I reports ahead of the mandatory requirement in 2018.
GEP aims to promote the adoption of alternate or cleaner marine fuels as well as wider adoption of energy-efficient operational measures, in anticipation of developments on the global sulphur emission cap. These efforts would come through support in asset and infrastructural development, as well as provision of various platforms for the industry to gain knowledge on these alternate fuels. To date S$12 million have been committed towards the LNG pilot programme.
Andrew Tan, chief executive of MPA, said: "The extension of the MSGI Programme is a strong demonstration of our commitment towards an environmentally friendly and sustainable global hub port. We hope that the enhancement to the MSGI will incentivise the maritime industry to continue with their efforts to provide safe, efficient and sustainable shipping, notwithstanding the challenging economic environment.
"MPA will ensure that the MSGI remains relevant and supports the move towards a more Sustainable Singapore and global maritime community."