Singapore and Rotterdam to set up world’s longest Green Corridor

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Port of Rotterdam Authority have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish the world’s longest Green and Digital Corridor.

 The MoU, signed on the sidelines of the biennial World Cities Summit,  will bring together stakeholders across the supply chain to realise the first sustainable vessels sailing on the route by 2027.

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As the world’s top bunker ports Singapore and Rotterdam are joining hands to tackle challenges stemming from the introduction of alternative fuels into the fuel mix such as biofuels, biogases, methane, hydrogen, and hydrogen-based fuels including ammonia and methanol which are in various stages of R&D.

Hence, the two port authorities agreed to create a broad coalition of shippers, fuel suppliers, and other companies to work on potential solutions to address challenges relating to costs, availability, safety, and restrictions in the range of alternative fuels.

The cooperation aims to facilitate the seamless movement of vessels and cargo, and optimise the just-in-time arrival of vessels from port to port by creating a digital trade lane.

Decarbonising shipping is an urgent climate action priority, which requires the collective efforts of the entire maritime sector,” S Iswaran, Minister for Transport and Minister-in-Charge of Trade Relations, Singapore, said.

“This MoU with the Port of Rotterdam demonstrates how like-minded partners can work together to complement the efforts of the IMO. It will serve as a valuable platform to pilot ideas that can be scaled up for more sustainable international shipping.”

Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, believes that the cooperation would enable carriers to switch to zero-carbon fuels and speed up the transition to more sustainable shipping.

The ports will work with the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation and the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero-Carbon Shipping as action partners, as well as other industry partners including bp, CMA CGM, Digital Container Shipping Association, Maersk, MSC, Ocean Network Express, PSA International, and Shell.

By bringing together major industry players the duo wants to increase investor confidence in the Green and Digital Corridor project and attract green financing. The goal is also to kickstart joint bunkering pilots and trials for digitalisation and the use of low- and zero-carbon fuels along the route.

MPA Singapore has been a staunch advocate of diversification of bunker supply, especially in the context of decarbonization of the shipping industry. It has also been a pioneer in establishing the infrastructure to facilitate LNG bunkering. Hence, the port authority wants to be a first mover when it comes to creating infrastructure for other types of alternative fuels, and ammonia has been high on its agenda.

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“This 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. The pilot will complement efforts undertaken by the shipping industry, including partners such as Google Cloud, and the IMO to support decarbonisation and digitalisation transition for international shipping, as we work towards developing and scaling up green and digital solutions for wider adoption,” Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of MPA, said.

As explained by Professor Lynn Loo, Chief Executive Officer of Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD), international shipping will have to deploy at least 5% zero-emission fuels in its fuel mix by 2030 for the sector to meet a Paris-aligned net-zero target.

Therefore, green corridors provide a framework to harmonise standards and regulations, increase green fuels availability and strengthen their supply chains.

“We will operationalise meaningful route-base, port-to-port pilots along this green corridor to help international shipping navigate and accelerate its transition towards a zero-carbon future,” she concluded.