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MPA and IMO Launch NextGEN Connect to Engage Diverse Stakeholders

Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization (IMO) giving opening remarks at the IMO – Singapore Future of Shipping Conference
Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization (IMO) giving opening remarks at the IMO – Singapore Future of Shipping Conference

Published Apr 13, 2022 8:52 AM by The Maritime Executive

[By: MPA]

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) have jointly launched NextGEN Connect, a database which aims to bring industry stakeholders, academia and global research centres together to offer inclusive solutions on maritime decarbonisation for trials along specific shipping routes. The launch took place today during the IMO-Singapore Future of Shipping Conference on Day 3 of the Singapore Maritime Week 2022.

2    The NextGEN Connect Challenge is the next phase of the NextGEN initiative (“GEN” stands for “Green and Efficient Navigation”). Launched in September 2021, the NextGEN database[1] presently lists more than 150 decarbonisation projects and comprises over 500 stakeholders worldwide, including IMO Member States, shipowners, technology developers, classification societies and non-governmental organisations. Under NextGEN Connect, diverse stakeholders will be invited to propose robust methodologies to jointly develop, on a pilot basis, route-based action plans to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions between specific points along a shipping route in the Asia-Pacific region. These proposals can be submitted via nextgen.imo.org/challenge.


3    Delivering the welcome address of the conference Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Transport and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations said, “It is important for public and private stakeholders to work together in a collective and inclusive manner globally to accelerate the maritime sector's transition towards a low-carbon future. NextGEN Connect serves as a collaborative platform that matches the challenges of sustainable shipping to diverse solution providers across borders and industries. The platform also shares innovative and successful projects that address common problems in shipping worldwide. In this way, no one is left behind on the access to creative sustainability solutions in achieving the goals of the Initial IMO GHG Strategy[2].”

4    Mr Kitack Lim, IMO’s Secretary-General, who delivered the conference’s opening remarks, said, “I am pleased to welcome the launch of the next stage of the NextGEN project. The transition to a decarbonised maritime sector cuts across all aspects of shipping – from the supply and use of fuels to safety matters, port operations and training of seafarers. The trials on the use of new technologies and zero-carbon maritime fuels will support a safe shift, and we must ensure a just and equitable transition that recognises the need for skills and technology development in developing countries. Collaboration, information sharing, and capacity-building are key to ensuring no one is left behind in the push for the decarbonisation of the shipping sector.”

5    In addition to NextGEN Connect, the preparatory phase of the IMO Coordinated Actions to Reduce Emissions from Shipping (IMO CARES) Technical Cooperation Framework was also launched during the conference. This preparatory phase is financially supported by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Once completed, IMO CARES will gather stakeholders and streamline existing programmes to drive green technologies and their global deployment in developing regions. For details on IMO CARES, please refer to [email protected]

6    At the conference, Mr Iswaran also announced enhancements to the Maritime Singapore Green Initiative[3] to underscore Singapore’s enduring commitment towards low and zero carbon future of shipping, as a responsible Flag and Port State. The Green Ship Programme (GSP) and the Green Port Programme (GPP) will take into account the updated IMO global shipping regulations as well as incentivise low or zero-carbon marine fuel. For instance, ships with zero-carbon fuel engine now enjoy 100% reduction in initial registration fee and annual tonnage tax under the revised GSP. Ocean-going vessels that adopt zero-carbon marine fuel in the Port of Singapore will now save 30% in port dues. Please refer to Annex for details of the revisions to GSP and GPP.

7    Attended by around 700 guests onsite and virtually, the IMO-Singapore Future of Shipping Conference addressed technology, policy and funding gaps in maritime decarbonisation through market-based mechanisms and R&D. Panellists at the conference also discussed opportunities to drive maritime sustainability in an inclusive manner through capacity building, technological transfer, innovation and collaboration.

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