Speech by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, at the HN5506 LNG Dual-fuel VLCC Ship-naming Ceremony, on 23 January 2024
His Excellency Dato’ Dr. Azfar Mohamad Mustafar, High Commissioner of Malaysia to Singapore,
Captain Rajalingam Subramaniam, Chairman of AET and President & Group CEO of MISC,
Mr Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore,
Mr Zahid Osman, President & CEO of AET,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1 A very good morning to all.
2 It is my pleasure to join you here at PSA Keppel Terminal to celebrate the inaugural naming of HN5506, AET’s latest Singapore-flagged liquefied natural gas (LNG) dual-fuel Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC). PSA Keppel Terminal is a place I am quite familiar with, having worked with PSA years ago.
3 It is truly my honour to be the Lady Sponsor of this fine vessel, which represents a step forward in enhancing the efficiency of the maritime industry.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE MARITIME INDUSTRY
4 2023 was yet another ‘record’ year for climate change. Globally, we saw communities grappling with the adverse impacts of climate change. From devastating wildfires in Hawaii and Canada to deadly floods in Libya and Greece, and unprecedented heatwaves across virtually all continents, in the hottest year on record. Singapore too recorded our hottest temperature in the last 40 years.
5 The maritime industry is not spared from the adverse effects of climate change. Rising sea levels, coastal erosion, and drought conditions can all affect navigation channels and port operations. More frequent and intense extreme weather events can disrupt shipping routes and endanger maritime operations.
6 And these are already impacting us practically. Severe droughts during the past summer led to critically low water levels in the Panama Canal, reducing traffic by 40%. According to a study by RTI International, climate change could cost the shipping industry up to $10 billion annually by 2050, and up to $25 billion annually by 2100.
7 At the same time, shipping must play a role in reducing its emissions and contribute to the fight against climate change. According to the IMO’s latest study, global shipping accounts for about 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. And its emissions are expected to continue to rise.
8 There are opportunities to enhance the energy efficiency of existing fleet to reduce fuel usage and costs, and retrofit or build new ships to carry new green fuels. The maritime industry also has significant opportunities to enable transportation of new alternative fuels, and remain the backbone of global trade and the lifeblood of the global economy. Singapore, a maritime nation whose story is inextricably linked to the sea, stands ready to play our part.
DECARBONISATION OF THE MARITIME INDUSTRY
9 The international community is taking action. The IMO has enhanced ambitions for international shipping to reach net-zero emissions by or around 2050; reduce its emissions intensity; and increase the uptake of zero or near-zero emissions technologies, fuels, and energy sources.
10 As a global hub port and international maritime centre, Singapore will play our part to catalyse the greening of international shipping. We actively contribute to and facilitate consensus at the IMO. And we are working with like-minded partners to create sustainable maritime ecosystems, such as through establishing green and digital shipping corridors to the Americas, Europe, and Asia, developing harmonised standards and regulations for the safe handling and bunkering of future marine fuels such as methanol, ammonia, and hydrogen, and supporting technical assistance and capacity-building programmes for our partners and supporting South-South collaboration.
11 I am encouraged to hear about AET’s commitment to sustainable shipping. AET has been built over generations in Singapore and I am glad that it has continued to progress under the current management. The delivery of the HN5506 VLCC is an example of how partnerships can advance environmental sustainability and support efforts to build a climate-resilient future.
12 New LNG carriers can be more energy-efficient and help address methane slip. HN5506 has an optimised hull form to reduce drag, enhanced rudder design to improve manoeuvrability, and a wake duct to improve propeller efficiency. The main engine is also built on a modular concept to allow for future retrofit options to potentially run on low- or zero-carbon fuels. AET is making plans for new carriers which can utilise new marine fuels for the future.
SINGAPORE REGISTRY OF SHIPS
13 I am also pleased to announce that with the registration of HN5506, the Singapore Registry of Ships has crossed the 100 million gross tonnage milestone! The Singapore Registry of Ships started in 1966 and over the years, it has expanded to be a quality flag supporting the growth of the maritime industry.
14 My heartiest congratulations to the generations of officers and our strong tripartite partnership, and to AET, MPA, and all partners involved. I look forward to seeing HN5506 embark on its exciting voyages around the world and leading the way for more sustainable shipping in our region.
15 In closing, though the path of climate action may encounter choppy waters at times and strong winds at another, the direction is clear. Let our commitment, our innovation, and our partnerships be the wind in our sails, propelling the ‘vessel’ we call home towards a more sustainable future. And let us do so full steam ahead, as time, tide, and climate change wait for none.
16 Thank you once again, AET, for the privilege of being the Lady Sponsor of HN5506.
17 I wish everyone a productive and pleasant day ahead. Thank you.