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Advancements made towards clean maritime fuel supply

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Dry Bulk,

Energy and transport ministries across Asia Pacific and Africa participated in a roundtable discussion on 16 April hosted by the Ocean Stewardship Coalition of the UN Global Compact with content partner LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub.

This meeting marked the launch of the Maritime Fuel Supply Dialogues, focusing on advancing clean fuel supply development across Asia Pacific and Africa to support regional maritime decarbonisation.

The Maritime Fuel Supply Dialogues (Dialogues) – launched by the LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub – aims to unlock the potential for clean and sustainable maritime fuels and to foster a thriving blue economy. The initiative focuses on how to drive regional fuel supply development at scale to support maritime decarbonisation across the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

By fostering dialogue and collaboration across all stakeholders, the Dialogues aim to create synergies that deliver wider benefits. This holistic approach will unlock new economic and environmental opportunities, propelling the maritime industry towards a truly sustainable future.

The first round of dialogues saw ministries across the Asia Pacific and Africa region provide interventions during the inaugural roundtable meeting, taking place during Singapore Maritime Week, with countries representing both energy-producing nations and regional maritime demand centres across the region.

Highlighting the importance of a proactive and full value chain approach, the keynote by the International Maritime Organisation Secretary General, Arsenio Dominguez stated: “We should also be proactive and embrace the opportunities that this transition offers. New fuels and new modes of propulsion will be on the table.”

“There are great opportunities for countries to build and upscale hydrogen-based maritime fuel production infrastructure. This roundtable is representative of the efforts that both the energy and transport sectors need to make to achieve our common goals. I am devoted to supporting shipping’s net zero transition.”

Key reflections after the first meeting to take forward to the next round of dialogues:

  • Participating ministries identified strong potential and appetite for regional collaboration where countries and ports play diverse and complementary roles as fuel exporters, bunkering hubs, and regional demand centres in the transition. Significant hydrogen production opportunities and growing demand for clean fuels in the region will deliver opportunities to develop mutually beneficial supply chains and unlock economies of scale, also across borders and sectors.
  • Emerging maritime demand centres and untapped market opportunities are supported by the global regulatory and industry signals that indicate growing appetite for hydrogen-based fuels across sectors, particularly with the ramp up in green corridors and clusters in the region. Sharing best practices and exploring regional frameworks gained support as a means of helping policy makers create effective signals to mobilise finance across the region.
  • An enabling environment for achieving scale can be achieved through clear policies, collaborative frameworks, and risk-sharing mechanisms, going beyond pilot projects. Policy and financing levers and structures were key areas of interest, which the Dialogues will seek to explore and develop further. Development of standards and capacity building were also considered important enablers.
  • Private and public stakeholder engagement will be at the heart of these Dialogues going forward, leveraging the expertise across fuel supply networks and the maritime communities and existing consortia aligned to support effective policies and investments that enable fuel supply development to support maritime decarbonisation at scale.

A commitment to continued dialogue

Recognising the value of open exchange, participating ministries committed to further communication and collaboration between key stakeholders through future dialogues as part of the Maritime Fuel Supply Dialogues.

The Maritime Fuel Supply Dialogues will hold the next roundtable meeting in September, as a pre-cursor to COP29 dialogues.

In September, the roundtable meeting will similarly invite energy-producing and fuel-producing countries in the Asia Pacific and Africa region as well as other maritime demand hubs. It will also widen participation to other ministries and departments, as well as energy and fuel producers and suppliers, financial institutions and key stakeholders and consortia along the maritime value chains to participate.

Participating ministries in inaugural Asia Pacific and Africa roundtable, which welcome continued engagement in future dialogues, include:

  • India, Ministry of Shipping, Ports and Waterways
  • Kenya, Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs
  • Namibia, Ministry of Mines and Energy
  • Namibia, Ministry of Works & Transport
  • Oman, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology
  • Philippines, Maritime Industry Authority, Department of Transportation
  • Republic of Korea, Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries
  • Singapore, Ministry of Transport

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