Singapore: regional impact. File Image / Pixabay.
A new report based on Singapore's bunkering sector has found that adding greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from marine fuel sales to Singapore's domestic inventory would quadruple it.
The report, from Washington-based International Council for Clean Transport (ICCT), uses Singapore as a case study as it is the largest bunkering stop globally. In addition to incorporating available data on bunker sales, the report uses 2019 AIS (automatic information system) data and the Systematic Assessment of Vessel Emissions model to quantify pollution impacts from shipping.
The point of the report, the authors say, is to arrive at an "improved understanding of the current bunkering practices of international shipping" and to help "guide decisions about how to transition to alternative marine fuels in the future".
With a fifth of the world's marine fuel, Singapore suffers from premature mortality due to shipping air pollution that is 10 times the global average on a per capita basis, according to the report. And in the seas surrounding southeast Asia, bunker fuel sold in Singapore accounts for more than 42% of all fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) from shipping.
Singapore will need to transition to low-carbon bunkering
Among their conclusions, the authors suggest that regional states (China, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Australia) "could win twice by producing and selling renewable marine fuels at their ports, as this would reduce local air and water pollution and allow them to capture the economic benefits of new renewable marine fuel markets".
On the flipside, the authors says that "Singapore will need to transition to low-carbon bunkering if it wants to remain an important bunkering port". The city state could stop "further investment in fossil fuel bunkering infrastructure and expand investments into 'green' marine fuel development".
Singapore recorded 50,000 metric tonnes (mt) of LNG bunker sales last year and this year has seen several biofuel bunker deliveries. The Maritime and Port Authority has also put the digitalisation of marine services at the centre of its plans for the future.
Exporting Emissions: Marine Fuel Sales at the Port of Singapore can be downloaded from the ICCT website.