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NTU, SMI launch S$15m maritime research centre to cut ship emissions

NANYANG Technological University (NTU) and the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) on Tuesday jointly launched a S$15 million research centre focusing on developing "innovative and sustainable" solutions for Singapore's maritime industry.

The Maritime Energy and Sustainable Development (MESD) centre of excellence is slated to be operational by the end of this year and will focus on the three areas of energy management, emissions management and sustainable maritime operations.

The centre will work on projects that reduce harmful ship emissions, which will help shipping companies comply with changes in international maritime regulations.

For the initial five-year period, SMI will make the largest contribution of S$10 million towards the centre, followed by NTU with S$4 million and S$1 million from NTU's industry partners.

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The research centre is also part of efforts to "deepen research capabilities", says SMI, and it will groom the next generation of local maritime researchers.

Jasmine Lam Siu Lee, director of MSc Maritime Studies programme and cluster director of maritime clean energy research at the Energy Research Institute at NTU (ERI@N) will lead MESD itself, together with Chan Siew Hwa, co-director of ERI@N, and Koh Eng Kiong, programme director of maritime clean energy at ERI@N.

Lam Khin Yong, who is chief of staff and vice-president for research at NTU, will chair the MESD's board, which comprises the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, SMI and industry partners.

"This partnership will see the development of greener solutions for the shipping industry so as to cut down emissions for a more sustainable maritime industry," Prof Lam said.

Andrew Tan, chief executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, said: "As we develop our Next Generation Port in Tuas, it opens up new opportunities for us to explore cleaner and alternative energy sources for use in our port and activities around the port.

"One of the key thrusts for Tuas Port is to achieve higher levels of environmental sustainability covering the port, its equipment, mobility and supporting activities such as logistics and warehousing," he added.

The centre was launched at the SMI Forum 2017, in the presence of guest-of-honour Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health Lam Pin Min.