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Remarks by Senior Minister of State for Transport and Foreign Affairs Mr Chee Hong Tat, for the Maiden Call of CMA CGM JACQUES SAADÉ at the Port of Singapore

12 Oct 2020 Speeches

Mr Stéphane Courquin, Head of the CMA CGM Group in Asia and Oceania,
Her Excellency Mrs Barbara Plinkert, Ambassador of the European Union to Singapore,
Mrs Anne Denis-Blanchardon, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of France in Singapore,
Mr Tan Chong Meng, Group CEO, PSA International,
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, a very good morning to all.
1.     It is my pleasure to join you in welcoming CMA CGM JACQUES SAADÉ on her maiden call at Singapore today.
2.     Congratulations to the CMA CGM Group on premiering the world’s largest LNG-powered containership, at a capacity of 23,000 TEUs. I understand this vessel is the result of seven years of research and development, and features new navigational and environmentally-friendly features – such as a path prediction system, augmented reality screens as well as LNG motorisation.
3.     Today’s event adds to the growing list of milestones for the CMA CGM Group in Singapore. Since the establishment of CMA CGM’s regional hub here in 2016, the Group has steadily expanded its presence in Singapore. 
a.     This, like what you have written on your banner – “More than a flagship – a vision”. So, to PSA and Singapore, CMA CGM is more than a valued customer. You are a strategic partner.
b.     And the presence of CMA CGM in Singapore included the establishment of a fleet navigation centre for the Asia-Pacific region in Singapore, as well as a strategic partnership with PSA to operate the CMA CGM-PSA Lion Terminal, right here in Pasir Panjang.
COVID-19 and Climate Change
4.     The maiden voyage of CMA CGM JACQUES SAADÉ is taking place despite the challenges and disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. It clearly embodies the resilience of the maritime industry. Not only is shipping keeping global supply chains open and goods flowing, new ships that address other critical challenges are also being put into operation.
5.     Of note, the CMA CGM JACQUES SAADÉ class of ships is being built and deployed to contribute to the maritime community’s commitment to tackle climate change. 
a.     The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is leading the charge, with clear goals set for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping by 2050, and to phase them out within this century. 
b.     It sounds like a long time – 2050. But actually, in the larger scheme of things, we do need to start now. I am very happy to see that CMA CGM is taking this step, an important step, to put in place the measures to move towards this long-term goal.
c.     The pathways to achieving these goals will require strong cooperation among stakeholders, as well as significant investments.  It cannot be achieved by any single party working alone – that is why we need collaboration. It requires a collective effort by all stakeholders working together.  
d.     While green marine fuels are being piloted to meet the IMO goals, LNG can facilitate the maritime industry’s transition towards a cleaner and greener future. We are clear – LNG is not going to be the final destination, but it is a very important transition, for us to be able to reach that final goal. LNG generates 20% to 30% less carbon dioxide emissions, compared to traditional fuel oils, and this in addition to almost zero emission of sulphur oxides and fine particles.
6.     I congratulate CMA CGM for its continued commitment to lead the industry’s energy transition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping.
a.     CMA CGM is the first shipping line to choose LNG as a fuel for ultra large containerships, investing in the building of a fleet of nine LNG-powered 23,000 TEU vessels in 2017.
b.     Your pioneering efforts on LNG-powered containerships has set a good example for the whole industry, and I hope it can lead to similar investments by other shipping lines, other companies, so that the industry as a whole can transform and move towards a cleaner outcome. An important environmental outcome. 
Singapore as an LNG Bunker-Ready Port
7.     Ladies and gentlemen, Singapore is committed to play our part in supporting efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change. As a major transhipment port and bunkering hub, we will find innovative ways to provide for the future green fuel needs of the shipping industry.
8.     In support of the shipping industry’s transition to make greater use of LNG as a transitional fuel:
a.     We launched an LNG bunkering pilot programme, developed new standards for LNG bunkering, and we appointed two LNG bunker suppliers in 2017. As demand increases, we will issue more licences to expand the number of LNG bunker suppliers here.
b.     We have also invested in the construction of two LNG bunker vessels. The first of which will be delivered and commence ship-to-ship LNG bunkering operations in the Port of Singapore, by the first quarter of next year. Actually, I think the vessel will arrive a bit earlier, hopefully by the end of this year. But it will commence operations by the first quarter of next year. My wife and I recently had the honour to attend the launch ceremony of this LNG bunker vessel, FueLNG Bellina.  
c.     We will continue to facilitate simultaneous bunkering and cargo operations for LNG-fuelled vessels that call at our port terminals. This is one of the value-add services that we can provide to our customers. While you are offloading cargo, loading cargo, we do bunkering at the same time. 
9.     Given the global nature of shipping, it is not sufficient for a single port to be LNG bunker-ready. 
a.     In 2016, Singapore spearheaded the formation of a network of port and maritime administrations to catalyse LNG bunkering infrastructure development across the Far-East and Transpacific trade routes. Since then, a number of these ports have commenced LNG bunkering operations, including the Port of Marseille-Fos, in France.
10.    Singapore has benefitted significantly from the long-standing ties with shipping lines and maritime companies. The success of our port and maritime centre is built upon this strong foundation.  It is an asset which we will continue to treasure and nurture, so that we can grow together from strength to strength.  
11.    I am confident that this will also apply to the strong partnership between CMA CGM and Singapore. Looking ahead, there will be many more opportunities for us to strengthen our collaboration as we ride the next wave of changes and rise to greater heights together. 
12.    Thank you very much.