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Energy Observer reaches Singapore, its first main stopover in Asia

by Energy Observer 12 Mar 2022 07:39 UTC 10-20 March 2022
Energy Observer reaches Singapore, its first main stopover in Asia © Energy Observer Productions - George Conty

The first vessel powered by renewable energy and hydrogen, the first French ambassador of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, arrived in Singapore on March 10th for the 70th stopover on its round-the-world Odyssey.

After having sailed for 17 days from Lombok in Indonesia and covered 1577 nautical miles, the laboratory vessel has docked at the ONE degrees15 Marina in Sentosa Cove for a stopover starting March 10th to 20th, 2022. The vessel is accompanied by its pedagogical exhibition village, which aims to raise awareness of the energy and ecological transition among all audiences. A unique opportunity to mobilize the key players in maritime transport and energy in the city-state: the world's leading bunkering port, a crossroads for international trade.

A showcase of French know-how in the design of innovative maritime systems

The arrival of Energy Observer is in line with the maritime partnership signed by France and Singapore in 2021. As a concrete demonstrator of French innovation in the service of the shipping communities, the laboratory vessel symbolizes the best that technological cooperation can bring to the energy transition, mobilizing decarbonization technologies and know-how from all over the world.

This essential step in Energy Observer's Odyssey comes a few weeks after the announcement of Energy Observer 2's launch: a unique concept of cargo ship powered by liquid hydrogen, with the ambition to feature innovative solutions to contribute to the massive decarbonization of freight transport and to develop hydrogen's demand.

"I am particularly proud that Energy Observer, the world's first hydrogen-powered vessel, has chosen Singapore for its only stopover in Asia with its exhibition village. This vessel perfectly illustrates the strong will of France and Singapore to collaborate in depth in all areas related to the maritime sector to develop a greener and more innovative maritime industry. I am also very pleased that the arrival of Energy Observer in Singapore coincides with the launch of the Francophonie 2022, placed this year under the sign of sustainability.",his Excellency Mr Marc Abensour, Ambassador of France to Singapore.

The Singapore Francophonie Festival, organized by the Group of Ambassadors of the Francophonie in Singapore, which gathers some 20 countries, takes place from March 10th to 28th and brings together this year 18 programs under the theme of sustainable development, preservation of biodiversity, the impact of climate change and respect for the environment. The arrival of Energy Observer in Singapore marks the opening event of the Francophonie festival, which will be attended by Ms. Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority. Energy Observer's village will host events, as well as the screening of the documentary: "Energy Observer, Messengers of the Earth" at the Science Centre Singapore.

Documenting the challenges of decarbonizing maritime transport

With more than 80% of the world's trade passing through the seas, Singapore is one of the world's leading trading ports, a unique maritime hub. With more than 5,000 shipping organizations in the Singaporean ecosystem, the maritime industry employs over 160,000 people across Singapore's island.

The city-state is thus at the core of immense challenges for the energy transition, while many alternative fuel solutions are being tested by the shipping industry to try to meet the objectives set by the International Maritime Organization. Singapore is looking to develop and deploy low-carbon technology solutions. The Climate Change Secretary (NCCS), Economic Development Board (EDB), and Energy Market Authority (EMA) have underscored hydrogen as a relevant solution to diversify the low carbon alternative fuel mix. Given Singapore's limited renewable energy resources, providing green fuels is a real challenge which the city-state intends to meet.

The first options studied by the authorities concern CCUS (Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage), allowing, among other things, the production of blue hydrogen from natural gas, but also the massive importation of green hydrogen, liquid and gaseous, whose use covers an important range of needs in Singapore. Remember that all current fuels (diesel, gasoline, kerosene) or alternative fuels, whether carbon neutral (bio-diesel, bio-GNL, E-methanol) or zero-emission (hydrogen, ammonia) require large quantities of hydrogen to be refined or produced.

In parallel to these energetic aspects and during the stopover's duration, Victorien Erussard will meet with local engineers and discover the shipyards in which tomorrow's vessels are designed. Thanks to the rich audiovisual production of Energy Observer, Victorien Erussard will be able to encounter a variety of players in the maritime sector, including Sembcorp, Maritime, the Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), and CMA CGM.

The laboratory vessel will be docked at Sentosa Cove's ONE degrees15 Marina, across from its Exhibition Village.

"Energy Observer is constantly pushing the boundaries of green innovations. As a green and sustainable marina, we are honored to welcome Energy Observer to Singapore and support their cause. We look forward to sharing and gathering ideas on sustainability during their stay at ONE degrees15 Marina Sentosa Cove.",Mr. Jonathan Sit, General Manager of ONE degrees15 Marina Sentosa Cove Singapore.

"We are very proud and happy to welcome Energy Observer's stopover in Singapore. Energy Observer's expedition around the world as a voice for Green innovations to improve our world is both ambitious and inspirational. This is the first time that Singapore welcomes a hydrogen-powered and zero-emission vessel, and it speaks of the aspiration we have as a global hub port to welcome more of such low or zero carbon vessels",Miss Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

Meeting the actors of the eco-energy transition

The stopover program will mobilize key players in the maritime, energy, and hydrogen industries, as well as in sustainable development, through visits, conferences, and filming on Singapore's flagship initiatives and projects: the maritime transport of the future, of course, but also energy and the eco-design of a tropical megalopolis.

"Since the beginning of the round-the-world Odyssey in 2017, we have had the chance to immerse ourselves at the heart of energy issues and the transformation of the various major industrial players in the sector. Despite the inevitable inertia to change our energy model, I have witnessed a true will to accelerate this transition, whether it's public, political, or industrial. The strategies and technologies to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions are now crystal clear and sufficiently mature. We need to accept this change, demonstrate as quickly as possible the coherence of major pilot projects, and massively direct our investments towards these low-carbon technologies to make them accessible to all.",Victorien Erussard, captain and founder of Energy Observer.

In addition to Energy Observer's main partners such as the Accor Group, BPCE and its subsidiary Natixis, Air Liquide, CMA CGM, many local actors will be mobilized: the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Singapore Maritime Institute, the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD), Pier 71 (a start-up incubation center specializing in maritime), the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine Singapore, or the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association of Singapore (HFCAS) and Sentosa Island which hosts the Village.

"Building a sustainable future is no longer a buzzword but a necessity for humanity. To support the Singapore Green Plan 2030 to build a sustainable future for Singaporeans and visitors from around the world, Sentosa Development Corporation is leading efforts with island stakeholders to achieve our collective goal of carbon neutrality by 2030 in the Sustainable Sentosa Strategic Roadmap.",Chew Yun Meng, General Manager, Sentosa Cove Resort Management.

Many discussions will take place during the stopover: two online conferences with the scientists onboard Energy Observer on energy and biodiversity themes, organized with the French Embassy, another with the French Chamber of Commerce in Singapore gathering energy and maritime transport industrialists, and finally a panel organized by the Air Liquide Group in the presence of the Minister of Trade and Industry, the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation and the Economic Development Board.

As part of the awareness-raising and educational missions carried out by the Energy Observer Foundation, school visits will also take place on board the exhibition village and the vessel. Local NGOs such as the Jane Goodall Institute will take part in conversations, and initiatives addressing the deployment of solar energy and the greening of megacities, will be discussed.

To raise awareness of these issues, essential to the preservation of our environment (SDGs 13, 14, 15), our sovereignty, and the access of all to sustainable and affordable energy (SDG 7), this step is highly strategic for Energy Observer's Odyssey in Asia. It fully meets its mission as the first French ambassador of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Practical information:

  • Dates: March 10th to 20th, 2022
Please note that the boat will be docked at ONE degrees15 Marina Sentosa Cove, Singapore / Gate 1 & 2.

* The boat will be visible but cannot be visited by the general public.

** Energy Observer Exhibition Village will be open to the public on 19 March 2022 and 20 March 2022. Visitors must make a booking before their visit via: www.sgmarineguide.com/energy-observer.

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