Australia and Malaysia board green shipping journey to net zero

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PTP and Port of Melbourne join a P4I panel discussion on ‘Green Fuel Bunkering and Maritime Decarbonisation: Insights from Australian and Malaysian Ports’ during the Green Shipping Conference on 22 June, part of Malaysia Maritime Week

Australia and Malaysia have shared the findings of a study into the potential for Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) to become a regional green shipping hub at Malaysia Maritime Week in Kuala Lumpur.

The Australian Government through Partnerships for Infrastructure (P4I) supported a session on ‘Green Fuel Bunkering and Maritime Decarbonisation: Insights from Australian and Malaysian Ports’ during the Green Shipping Conference on 22 June.

Opened by Deputy Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia Ms Clare Gatehouse, the session discussed how Australia is supporting the decarbonisation of the maritime industry in partnership with Malaysia and the region.

“The shipping industry has a critical role in the global path to net zero. There is great demand and need for Australia’s expertise in transitioning our own shipping industry and establishing green corridors across Southeast Asia,” Ms Gatehouse said.

“Malaysia’s PTP is ideally located to develop a green fuel bunkering hub which could enhance its attractiveness as a vessel refuelling stop, leading to increased trade, jobs and economic growth. As Australia’s largest container port, Port of Melbourne are in Malaysia this week to exchange information on the potential pathways for maritime and trade decarbonisation.”

Hosted by the Malaysia Marine Department and supported by the Ministry of Transport (MOT), Malaysia Maritime Week is held over 3 days from 20 June and includes two international conferences on maritime and green shipping.

In response to a request from the MOT to better understand zero-carbon bunkering, research was undertaken through P4I to explore the potential for green refuelling sites in Malaysia, with PTP participating as a partner in the pilot study.  PTP is one of the 20 largest container ports in the world and strategically located as a hub at the centre of the Malacca Strait and numerous regional trade lanes.

Mr Marco Neelsen, Chief Executive Officer of PTP, said the port was delighted to be chosen as part of the Australian-supported study.

“We hope that the successful implementation of this initiative will become a game changer in transforming the regional maritime industry and further promoting Malaysian opportunities to lead in this area of maritime decarbonisation.”

P4I maritime specialist, Dr Jonathan Beard, shared the study’s outcomes which showed that Malaysia has potential to develop into a regional green bunkering hub, with the support of both industry and government. The study also found that methanol is the green fuel option receiving the most investment from shipping lines.

Following the presentation, a panel discussion was held on green fuel bunkering, with representatives from Port of Melbourne and PTP. They discussed the technical and commercial considerations of methanol bunkering and Port of Melbourne’s broader sustainability initiatives.

“Given the size and strategic location of PTP, it has the potential to play a key role regionally and globally in supporting maritime and trade decarbonisation,” said Mr. Shaun Mooney, Executive General Manager Commercial at Port of Melbourne.

“Decarbonisation of the maritime industry is really gaining pace. As Australia’s largest container port, with around 3,000 ships visiting annually, it makes sense that we look at ways to work together with customers, service providers and producers to understand market needs.”

Port of Melbourne is working with stakeholders to examine ways to decarbonise the port industry’s supply chain. In April 2023, it signed an agreement with a number of industry players to explore the commercial feasibility of establishing a green methanol bunkering hub. Separate to the conference, Port of Melbourne representatives travelled to both PTP and Port Klang in Malaysia to discuss industry trends in the adoption of alternative fuels and container port implications.

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Shipping accounts for nearly 3% of global emissions, with the International Maritime Organization setting a goal to halve annual emissions by 2050 and establish green shipping corridors for vessels using zero-emission fuels. Through the Clydebank Declaration, more than 20 countries have committed to developing the technology, expertise and port infrastructure needed for international shipping routes to go zero-carbon, with a more ambitious goal to decarbonise the entire industry by 2050.
As a signatory to the declaration, Australia has committed to the establishment of regional green shipping corridors which will prioritise and support ships powered by zero-emissions fuels.

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