Singapore Offers Flag State Incentives for Ships Adopting Green Tech
Singapore has become the first of the major ship registries to announce significant financial incentives to encourage shipowners to accelerate decarbonization efforts that meet or exceed the emerging IMO standards. The program, which offers reductions on initial and annual fees ranging between 20 and 100 percent, is available both for ships entering the registry as well as existing ships that chose to adopt energy efficient ship design.
Launched in 1966, the Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) has grown to be ranked among the top five flag states in the world on most recent reports. According to their statistics, there are more than 4,400 ships that aggregate over 96 million gross tons in the SRS. They report that the registry already has one of the youngest fleets, but as registries have grown increasingly competitive for new tonnage, the new program is designed to attract new ships while encouraging further efforts at decarbonization.
Singapore is revising its current Green Ship Program, launched in 2011, with new incentives effective between May 1, 2022, and through the end of the program which is currently set for December 31, 2024. Details of the incentives were contained in a circulate released on April 22.
“The key principle of the Green Ship Program is to reward ship owners who voluntarily adopt solutions that enable ships to exceed environmental regulatory standards set by the IMO,” writes the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. The MPA says that they are bringing the program in line with the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) requirements from MARPOL that came into effect as of April 1.
Incentives are being introduced for ships that fall into one of three categories, exceeding the EEDI requirements by 10 percent or more; adopting engines capable of using low carbon fuels equivalent to or lower than LNG such as bioLNG, ethane, and methanol; or adopting zero-carbon fuels such as ammonia or hydrogen. New ships registering in Singapore receive reductions ranging between 50 and 100 percent for their initial registration fee and annual tonnage tax. Ships currently in the register that adopt the new standards qualify for reductions between 20 and 100 percent.
Interested ship owners are being encouraged to approach one of the eight recognized organizations to obtain the necessary documentation. Ships that qualify will be given a “Green Letter of Recognition,” by the MPA.
The smaller Isle of Man Ship Registry (IOMSR) announced in February 2022 that it would become the first flag in the world to provide incentives for the use of green technologies. They detailed a program that would provide shipowners a 15 percent reduction on their annual registration fee. Ships qualify for the IOMSR discount through the use of alternative fuel or other green power sources, including liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, methanol, ammonia, hydrogen, hydrogen-enriched fuel, fuel cells, or battery systems.
Singapore noted that the revisions to its Green Ship Program were in addition to its other programs focusing on reducing environmental impact. They also have efforts for green ports, green energy and technology, and green awareness.