Singapore Forum Prepares for the Future of Shipping


The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has unveiled how it is preparing the Port of Singapore, and Singapore-registered ships, for the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 2020 regulations.

A 0.5% fuel limit, for sulphur contained in the fuel oil used by sea-going vessels, will take effect from January 1, 2020.

In his opening address at the Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) Forum, on November 30, 2018, MPA Chief Executive Andrew Tan also announced initiatives to improve the authority’s delivery of its services.

Tham Wai Wah, MPA Singapore, discusses next-generation ports in a recent Port Technology technical paper

With the theme of “Riding the Next Wave”, the SRS Forum 2018 focused on how companies can prepare for upcoming environmental challenges, welcoming speakers from organisations such as the Wavelink Maritime Institute and China Classification Society.

Contributors to the forum, which was attended by 400 participants from the shipping industry and educational institutions, discussed the changing needs of seafarers and autonomous ship technologies.


Andrew Tan delivers his opening speech (Credit: MPA Singapore)


In addition to this, MPA and the Singapore Shipping Association prepared for the IMO’s 2020 sulphur limit by releasing two technical guidance booklets for Singapore-registered ships, as well as ships calling at the Port of Singapore.

According to a statement, these booklets outline the options available for ship operators to comply with new regulations, including the use of approved abatement technology like scrubbers, alternative fuels and compliant fuel oil.


Tim Wilkins, Intertanko, speaks about environmental challenges (Credit: MPA Singapore)


MPA also unveiled service enhancements for Singapore-registered ships at the forum, agreeing to conduct overseas inspections on selected SRS ships as part of a five-year SRS Quality Flag Assessment Programme.

To harness new technologies and increase productivity, MPA has also started trialling blockchain for ship registration and robotic process automation for the issuance of crew and ship certificates.

Speaking on the subject of new technologies, Tan said: “The SRS Forum is an important platform for us to engage the industry on new developments, such as the growing use of technology to enhance business processes and tightened environmental regulations.”

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