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Australia and South-East Asia partner on maritime decarbonisation mission

The first South-East Asia Business Exchange Mission allowed Australian companies to spruik maritime decarbonisation products and services to major Singaporean and Malaysian ports

The Australian federal government, through Austrade, has held its first South-East Asia Business Exchange mission, focusing on decarbonising the maritime industry.

Heading to Singapore and Malaysia, assistant federal trade minister Tim Ayres led the inaugural project that is focused on the green energy transition in the maritime industry.

The trip, comprising 22 Australian companies, research institutions and industry organisations across the maritime supply chain, were given first-hand insights and in-depth discussions with major players in the region.

The United Nations estimates that the global maritime industry will spend billions of dollars every year on decarbonisation, with Malaysia targeting 40 per cent low-carbon fuel penetration for marine transport by 2050 and Singapore aiming for full electric propulsion and net zero fuels for its harbour craft fleet by the same year.

These goals have opened opportunities for local organisations that offer green maritime solutions, with the mission generating strong interest from Singaporean and Malaysian ports and investors, particularly those interested in fuel supply (ammonia and methanol) and electrification solutions.

Austrade organised a comprehensive program that provided Australian delegates with insights into innovative practices and emerging opportunities. Discussions centred on fuel, vessel and port-side technology.

Support from large corporates including Fortescue, BHP, Rio Tinto and Toll Group provided access and insights that benefitted the whole delegation.

Among the highlights was a visit to Fortescue’s Green Pioneer ship in the Port of Singapore. In a world first, the vessel successfully trialled the use of liquid ammonia and diesel as a marine fuel.

In Malaysia, delegates visited the Port of Tanjong Pelepas, which is ranked one of the world’s top 15 major ports. It can serve mega container vessels and Ultra Large Crude Vessels in its wide access channel. Both ports are major hubs in the region’s maritime landscape.

Sixty senior executives from Singapore and Malaysia across government and industry convened for three roundtable sessions, with discussions exploring the investments and technologies needed for sustainable value chain development in line with the International Maritime Organisation’s decarbonisation goals.

The delegates attended meetings and networking events with industry leaders organised by Austrade.

Australian companies had the chance to showcase their green technologies and services for the maritime industry. These included hydrogen and ammonia production; hydrogen storage, green and renewable methanol production, electrification, battery and solar power, containerisation innovation, logistics, civil engineering and more.

“The market briefings, roundtable discussions and site visits provided insights into regional demand for maritime decarbonisation solutions,” Austrade Singapore senior trade and investment commissioner Kirstyn Thomson says.

“The energy transition will be a defining factor of the Australia-Singapore, and Australia-Malaysia, relationships for the next decade. This opportunity to bring business and policymakers together to discuss practical issues and solutions was timely.

“There are strong opportunities for Australian-based businesses. Austrade and Australian companies are focused on developing business relationships with partners in Singapore and Malaysia.”

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