SINGAPORE, 13 APRIL 2011 - The Singapore Government has announced it will spend a total of SG$100 million (US$79.4 million) over the next five years, on a Maritime Singapore Green Initiative, designed to promote "environmentally responsible maritime activities".
Under the programme, the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore will set aside up to SG$50 million (US$39.7 million) to encourage local maritime companies to adopt new 'green' technologies.
The Maritime Singapore Green Initiative will also offer a 50 per cent reduction of initial registration fees, plus a 20 per cent rebate on annual tonnage tax, to Singapore-flagged ships which adopt energy efficient ship designs exceeding the requirements of the International Maritime Organisation.
Ships calling at the Port of Singapore, that use approved abatement technologies or burn low-sulphur fuel above MARPOL (International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships) standards within the port, can also qualify for a 15 per cent reduction in port dues.
The announcements were made last night by Singapore's minister for transport and second minister for foreign affairs, Raymond Lim, at the 6th Singapore International Maritime Awards 2011.
Encouraging 'green' technologies
Under the 'Green Technology Programme', the government will co-fund early adoption of new green technologies by local maritime companies.
"The MPA will set aside SG$25 million (US$19.9 million) from the Maritime Innovation and Technology Fund (or MINT Fund) for this purpose in the first instance," the minister said. "If the take up is good, it is prepared to consider another tranche of $25 million."
Lim said that Singapore's maritime sector contributes about seven per cent of the Lion City's GDP, and employs more than 170,000 people. The port of Singapore has maintained its global leading position in vessel arrival tonnage and bunker sales. In 2010, Singapore's annual bunker sales exceeded 40 million tonnes for the first time.
"One key challenge confronting the maritime industry today is balancing economic growth with the need to protect our marine environment," the minister said.
Environmentally friendly transport
"Today, shipping remains by far the most efficient form of cargo transport. It carries more than 90 per cent of world trade but contributes only about three percent to global carbon dioxide emission."
Lim said that promoting environmentally responsible maritime activities required the participation and support of every stakeholder in the maritime ecosystem.
"We should be mindful of the challenges that continue to confront the maritime industry," he said. "Recent events in Japan and the Middle East remind us of the need to remain vigilant and to never take the status quo for granted. The Singapore Government remains strongly committed to helping our partners overcome the challenges ahead and to keep maritime Singapore growing."
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