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The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) today (29 July) announced the formation of the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) in Singapore and its leadership team with effect from 1 August 2021. 

Set up with a S$120 million fund from MPA and six founding partners - BHP, BW Group, Eastern Pacific Shipping, Foundation Det Norske Veritas, Ocean Network Express and Sembcorp Marine - the centre will seek to spearhead the maritime industry’s energy transition journey.

The GCMD aims to collaborate with the industry to help the maritime sector reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, implement identified decarbonisation pathways and create new business opportunities.

As previously reported, the set-up of a decarbonisation centre was first announced during the Singapore Maritime Week in April 2021, as one of the recommendations in the International Advisory Panel for Maritime Decarbonisation’s report submitted to the Singapore Government.

As part of the GCMD’s ongoing efforts to explore joint industry projects that advance the deployment of low- and zero-carbon maritime solutions, 31 organisations ranging from shipping companies, classification societies, research centres, traders, energy players, terminal and tank operators, engineering companies, financial institutions to industry associations have expressed interest to collaborate with the GCMD.

Prof Lynn Loo will be appointed Chief Executive Officer. She will be responsible for working with GCMD’s Governing Board to develop and execute the overall strategy for the new centre. She will also take the lead in building partnerships with the maritime industry, government agencies, international bodies and other regional and international maritime decarbonisation centres. 

Current Executive Director of the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI), Dr Sanjay Chittarajan Kuttan, will be appointed Chief Technology Officer to lead technology and research development and pilot trials initiated by the centre. He will also be involved in standards development of future marine fuels, as well as strengthening the linkages with local research institutes and international decarbonisation centres to advance maritime decarbonisation efforts.

The GCMD’s leadership team will be supported by a Governing Board, who will work with the team to define the strategic direction of GCMD. Mr Andreas Sohmen-Pao, Chairman of BW Group and the Singapore Maritime Foundation, will be appointed Chairman of GCMD’s Governing Board. The Governing Board is made up of eight other members to help grow the GCMD into a leading centre of excellence for maritime decarbonisation.

Chairman

Mr Andreas Sohmen-Pao

Chairman, BW Group

Board Member

Ms Quah Ley Hoon

Chief Executive, MPA

Board Member

Mr Beh Kian Teik

Deputy Chief Executive, National Research Foundation

Board Member

Mr Jeremy Nixon

CEO, Ocean Network Express

Board Member

Mr Wong Weng Sun

CEO, Sembcorp Marine

Board Member

Mr Rashpal Bhatti

VP, BHP

Board Member

Mr Remi Eriksen

CEO, Foundation Det Norske Veritas

Board Member

Mr Cyril Ducau

CEO, Eastern Pacific Shipping

Board Member

Prof Lynn Loo

CEO, Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation

 

In partnership with the industry, the GCMD will facilitate decarbonisation technology development and test-bedding, including future marine fuel trials with the industry and research communities in Singapore. To this end, MPA is looking at developing waterfront facilities to support these activities. MPA is working with relevant agencies to study the viability of locating the GCMD along with other maritime developments at Marina South.

‘The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation has garnered much interest from industry stakeholders. This strong support is important for developing commercially viable solutions for sustainable shipping,’ said Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Transport, Singapore. ‘As a hub port and international maritime centre, Singapore will contribute to this shared vision by growing a vibrant ecosystem for maritime decarbonisation research, technology development and solution deployment. The Centre’s work will involve going into new areas and uncharted waters, we are grateful to our partners for sailing this journey together with us.’

Andreas Sohmen-Pao, Chairman, Governing Board of GCMD, added: ‘Decarbonisation is a global challenge, and our industry has to play its part. The challenge is too large for any one company to solve, so collaboration is essential. This centre will build on the positive steps taken by many maritime players around the world, and Singapore’s position as a leading maritime centre, to help the industry transition to a low-carbon future.’

Prof Lynn Loo, Chief Executive Officer, GCMD, said: ‘I am honoured and excited to lead GCMD. Contributing 3% of global carbon emissions annually, shipping is one of the hardest-to-abate sectors. GCMD offers a huge opportunity to make significant inroads on the sector’s decarbonisation agenda. Starting in Singapore, our work will carry us widely across the globe, rigorously testing promising solutions with a simple goal of taking tangible next steps to help the maritime sector navigate the energy transition.’

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