Hapag-Lloyd joins Singapore-Rotterdam green shipping corridor initiative

German shipowner Hapag-Lloyd, the world’s fifth largest liner shipping company, has joined the Singapore-Rotterdam green and digital shipping corridor (GDSC) initiative.

The Singapore-Rotterdam GDSC was established by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and Port of Rotterdam Authority in August 2022 to accelerate transformation efforts for maritime decarbonization and digitalization.

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Singapore and Rotterdam are among the largest bunkering ports in the world, making them vital links on the Asian-European shipping lanes. To-date, the GDSC initiative has brought together 26 global value-chain partners across shipping lines, fuel suppliers, port authorities and operators, industry coalitions, banks and others. The latest partners include Hapag-Lloyd and A*STAR’s Centre for Maritime Digitalisation (A*STAR’s C4MD), led by A*STAR’s Institute of High Performance Computing (A*STAR IHPC).

 A*STAR’s C4MD aims to develop advanced computational modeling, simulation, and artificial intelligence solutions for a safe, efficient and sustainable maritime ecosystem. 

The project partners are working towards reducing GHG emissions from this international shipping corridor by 20%, striving for 30%, by 2030, compared to 2022.

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New GDSC projects to back decarbonization

The GDSC partners will be implementing several first-mover pilot projects and testing out commercial structures to accelerate the uptake of zero and near-zero emission fuels, such as synthetic and bio-variants of methanol, ammonia, methane, and hydrogen.

This implementation follows earlier modeling studies undertaken by the Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller Centre for Zero Carbon-Shipping and the Centre for Maritime Studies of the National University of Singapore to explore multiple alternative fuels pathways and their viability as sustainable marine fuels.

The bio-methane working group, led by SEA-LNG has examined relevant regulations and certification standards such as the ISCC EU certification to support the adoption of bio-methane for marine bunkering at a commercial scale.

The GDSC partners plan to carry out Bio-LNG bunkering pilots over 2024 and 2025. These pilots would be based on mass balancing chain of custody principle that involves physical blending of certified bio-methane with non-certified conventional LNG across shared transport, storage and distribution infrastructure such as pipelines. 

Meanwhile, the methanol working group, led by Rotterdam Port, has worked on a clear starting point for fuel standards and knowledge exchange on chain of custody principles.

The working group will also be addressing common challenges such as acceptability, availability, and affordability to carry out commercial methanol bunkering at both Ports of Singapore and Rotterdam.

To remind, the Port of Rotterdam conducted the green methanol terminal bunkering operation on the world’s first methanol-fuelled containership owned by Danish shipping heavyweight Maersk.

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Furthermore, the ammonia working group, jointly led by MPA, the Nanyang Technological University Maritime Energy and Sustainable Development Centre of Excellence, and the A*STAR’s C4MD will be developing a framework to assess the lifecycle greenhouse gas intensity of green ammonia for bunkering, and a decision-making tool for value-chain partners to optimize their green ammonia supply chain network.

This study, to be completed by 2025, will support ongoing efforts by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to develop the Life Cycle GHG Assessment (LCA) framework and guidelines for alternative marine fuels. 

Moreover, the hydrogen working group, in collaboration with energy major Shell, has been assessing the technical and economic feasibility of hydrogen as a marine fuel for ocean-going container vessels.

Going beyond desktop-based studies, the working group aims to develop novel ship designs allowing the GDSC partners to understand the cost differential and how to practically overcome the challenges, whilst maximizing the opportunities that hydrogen as a sustainable marine fuel offers.

“The progress made since the establishment of the Singapore-Rotterdam Green and Digital Shipping Corridor in August 2022 demonstrates that public-private collaboration across global value chains can be achieved. This collaboration will allow Singapore and Rotterdam to pilot innovative solutions on one of the world’s busiest shipping routes and accelerate the decarbonisation and digitalisation of the shipping industry,” Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive of MPA said.

“The Singapore-Rotterdam Corridor is a very valuable collaboration in accelerating the twin transition: the integration of digital innovation in energy transition efforts. Not only are we seeing the first results in standardization and data sharing for Port Call Optimization but also the first steps in moving towards operationalization of zero and low carbon fuels on this trade lane,” Boudewijn Siemons, Chief Executive Officer of Rotterdam Port concluded.