The First SEA Maritime Energy Test Facility Launched

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Maritime Energy

As stiffer regulations on ship emissions and energy efficiency standards are expected in the coming years, Southeast Asia must have its own facility to test.  The first advanced Maritime Energy Test Bed launched by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) will be a boost to the maritime industry by developing cleaner and more sustainable maritime energy solutions.

The S$8 million maritime energy test facility aims to be a platform for scientists and engineers to develop innovative eco-friendly maritime technologies.  It will also provide hands-on experience for polytechnic students, undergraduates and PhD candidates in sustainable maritime technologies and innovation.

The clean energy solutions like scrubbers-devices (filters) and alternative energy sources (biodiesels, a form of renewable, clean-burning diesel) aimed at delivering cost savings and competitive advantages and championing sustainable technologies will be tested here.

Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) officially declared open and  said, “The fruition of the Maritime Energy Test Bed represents a successful collaboration between the research sector and the industry and is a timely development as the maritime sector looks to green and sustainable technologies to save on costs, mitigate the effects of climate change and address growing environmental regulations.”

Shipping is the most fuel-efficient mode of freight transportation.  The maritime industry is carrying about 90 per cent of the world’s trade and hence an economic pillar of any nation.  But, ships use low quality heavy fuel oil which emits harmful atmospheric pollutants, including sulphur oxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide and other particulates. Hence, the industry requires testing facility for maritime energy research and for developing sustainable maritime energy solutions.  The much required Maritime Energy Test Bed for southeast Asia had been  jointly funded by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI).  This new facility puts NTU at the forefront of global maritime energy solutions and raises Singapore’s maritime R&D capabilities and expertise.

NTU and SMI will contribute S$4.7 million over the next 10 years with support from other maritime leaders such as ClassNK dedicated to securing a safer and greener future.  The Maritime Energy Test Bed represents the next step to achieve this goal.  The experts in Singapore and around the world will contribute to the advancement of future green technologies for the entire maritime industry by carrying out R&D projects utilizing the METB facility.  The Maritime Energy Test Bed at NTU will conduct research and development (R&D) in areas such as alternative sources of energy or clean fuels, fuel additives to increase energy efficiency and technologies for cleaner emissions moving towards a new era of green shipping.

The facility is equipped with a fully-fledged 1.5 megawatt diesel ship engine, which can run on most of the conventional liquid fuel types such as biodiesel, gas-to-liquid and synthetic diesel.  It will also be installed with advanced sensors and monitoring devices to facilitate research innovation in energy storage, noise pollution and waste heat recovery.  Engineers will be trained by equipping them with the skills for the 21st century green maritime industry.  Polytechnic students, undergraduates and even PhD candidates will be able to advance their knowledge and expertise in maritime sustainability and innovation.

Prof Lam said, “As Singapore is primarily a global trade hub, education and training are important aspects of the new Maritime Energy Test Bed at NTU.  With highly skilled manpower, Singapore will be able to attract overseas investments to the nation’s maritime industry.”

Source:  Nanyang Technological University

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