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  • The Straits Times - 23 May 2015

    Open skies (PDF File) - 3mb

    Mr Joe Chua shared the satisfaction he derives, as well as the challenges he faces in his job as an air traffic control manager at CAAS, helping to keep Singapore’s commercial air space safe. He said that the job of an air traffic controller is critical and highly challenging, as one has to manage the numerous aircraft flying in the skies efficiently, providing air traffic control to ensure safe and expeditious flow of air traffic. It is thanks to the contributions of “unsung heroes” like Mr Chua and his team of air traffic controllers that Singapore’s busy highways in the air remain open and accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

    The Straits Times - 27 Apr 2015

    LTA's new way to sound the ground for MRT tunnels (PDF File) - 371kb

    The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is using geophysics methods - which make use of ground vibrations or electric currents - when more direct means of surveying, such as drilling boreholes cannot be done to assess soil conditions before the construction of new rail lines starts. Giving two examples, an LTA spokesman said geophysics methods were used in 2009 to survey the soil conditions at St Joseph's Institution (SJI) International and Innova Junior College. The authority said soil investigation works are conducted for between three and five years before the tender for a rail project is called. In the final phases, boreholes are drilled at intervals as close as 20m around the construction site, and rock and soil samples taken from as deep as 70m. Despite its best efforts, no assessment can provide a complete picture of the ground. For the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL), LTA said it will closely monitor the impact of construction. Geotechnical instruments, including ground-settlement markers and water standpipes - to measure fluctuations in the ground water levels - will be used. A ground-breaking ceremony was held at Kreta Ayer Square yesterday to mark the start of construction of five TEL stations: Maxwell, Shenton Way, Marina Bay, Marina South and Gardens by the Bay. Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

    The Straits Times - 27 Apr 2015

    Expect faster rides soon on North-South Line (PDF File) - 365kb

    Commuters will have faster rides on the North-South Line when rail works to replace 96,000 timber sleepers with concrete ones are completed by the end of this month. A trip between Jurong East and Marina Bay, for example, will take about 67 minutes instead of 77 minutes. Mr Chua Chong Kheng, Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) deputy chief executive for infrastructure and development, said that with the works on the line coming to an end, the speed of the trains will be returning to normal. The LTA and SMRT said on Saturday that sleeper replacement works for the East-West Line will start from the middle of next month.  This will involve changing more than 92,000 sleepers between Boon Lay and Tiong Bahru stations, as well as between Lavender and Pasir Ris. Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

    The Straits Times - 25 Apr 2015

    MPA to work with AStar on maritime tech projects (PDF File) - 566kb

    An agreement signed on 24 April aims to boost Singapore’s maritime technologies in areas such as communications and robots. The five-year MOU between the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and A*Star will centre on collaboration in research and development. One focus will be on developing next-generation maritime communications technologies, which include satellite, terrestrial and wireless systems, particularly what is called TV White Spaces technology. This refers to a wireless spectrum with a much farther range than traditional Wi-Fi that could be crucial in improving productivity and safety. MPA chief executive Andrew Tan noted at the signing ceremony at the inaugural Singapore Maritime Technology Conference that the MOU's focus on the latest communications systems and technology will “enhance the competitive edge of our port and its operations, given the increasingly complex demands and challenges”. A*Star managing director Raj Thampuran said that the agreement will bring the partnership between both organisations to “a new level” by delivering even more ideas and innovative technologies to the maritime and offshore industry. Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

    The Business Times - 24 Apr 2015

    MPA signs S$2.4b deal for Tuas Terminal Phase 1 works (PDF File) - 186kb

    MPA has inked a S$2.42 billion deal to develop the first phase of the Tuas Terminal. The contract was awarded to a joint venture (JV) between Belgian firm Dredging International Asia Pacific and South Korea's Daelim Industrial. The JV will also tap local firms' capabilities, the authority said. Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport Mrs Josephine Teo mentioned in her speech at the inaugural Singapore Maritime Technology Conference (SMTC) on 23 April that the project includes reclaiming 294 hectares of land, which is larger than the Brani, Keppel and Tanjong Pagar terminals combined. An MPA spokesman said the project is expected to be completed by December 2020. When the Tuas Terminal is completed, it is expected to be able to handle up to 65 million containers per year, nearly twice the Singapore port's container throughput volume in 2014. In her speech, Mrs Teo added that the MPA would pump more funds into research and green technology. MPA will also sign a MOU with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star), which will let the authority tap the agency's expertise and its ties with research institutes and universities. SMTC was part of the 10th annual Singapore Maritime Week, which included other events such as the Sea Asia maritime convention and the Singapore Shipping Forum, which was held on 23 April by accounting firm Moore Stephens and BNP Paribas. Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Defence Mr Lui Tuck Yew had said at the opening of Sea Asia on Tuesday (21 April) that when fully operational at the end of 2017, Pasir Panjang Terminal Phases 3 and 4 will increase Singapore's port capacity by more than 40 per cent to around 50 million TEUs. Source: The Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

    The Business Times - 23 Apr 2015

    MPA signs deal to train more global maritime leaders (PDF File) - 227kb

    The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is aiming to train more global maritime industry leaders even as it tries to develop the local maritime workforce further. The authority's training arm, MPA Academy, on Wednesday (22 April) inked a MOU to work on leadership development programmes with the World Maritime University, a post-graduate university set up in 1983 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The academy and the university may also exchange faculty members, as part of the deal. Minister also said in a speech on Tuesday that MPA will be introducing a career conversion programme for locals to switch to the maritime industry midway through their career, pointing to a "shortage of both seafaring and shore-based maritime manpower, even in nations with a rich seafaring heritage". Maritime Week events this year included a lecture by shipping industry titan CC Tung, chairman of Hong Kong-based shipping group Orient Overseas (International) Ltd. Source: The Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

    The Straits Times - 23 Apr 2015

    'No containing' Singapore's shipping capacity (PDF File) - 662kb

    Singapore's plans to expand its container shipping capacity could allow it to "pull away" from its competitors, said shipping magnate Tung Chee Chen, who is chairman of Hong Kong shipping group Orient Overseas International. He was delivering the Singapore Maritime Lecture at the Fullerton Hotel yesterday. The lecture, which was organised by MPA, is a key feature of Singapore Maritime Week. About 450 maritime industry delegates attended yesterday’s lecture. Mr Tung pointed to the trend of mega-vessels and added: "If Singapore is actually looking into the future and thinking that the big ships are here to stay, then its transhipment operations could be the key to success." Meanwhile, MPA Academy inked an agreement with the World Maritime University yesterday to cooperate in the grooming of talent. The memorandum of understanding involves the two organisations collaborating on leadership development programmes and exchanging faculty members. Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

    The Straits Times - 23 Apr 2015

    New drone to give MPA better view of oil spills (PDF File) - 3mb

    The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is working with local engineering firm Hope Technik to develop an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is waterproof and can take off from and land on water, to assess oil spills at sea. In flight, the drone will be able to "see" for at least 150m around the vessel to which it is tethered. A prototype of the UAV was unveiled on 23 April at the International Chemical and Oil Pollution Conference and Exhibition 2015 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre. MPA chief executive Andrew Tan said the UAV is a part of Singapore’s push to be a leader in maritime safety. MPA has also started a near-miss reporting system. “For every incident that has happened, there could be several near-misses before that point…We want to understand if it’s a risk relating to passageway or human error,” Mr Tan said. Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

    The Sunday Times - 22 Apr 2015

    A global conversation for the maritime sector (PDF File) - 467kb

    To reinforce its position as one of the region‘s leading maritime centres, it is important for Singapore to stay on top of the changes affecting the fast-evolving global industry. This is one of the aims of the annual Singapore Maritime Week (SMW), which sees delegates representing port authorities, industry leaders, as well as maritime professionals from around the world gather in Singapore to discuss key trends, opportunities and challenges facing the sector. Minister said that SMW brings together stakeholders from around the world to exchange views on key issues of the day. SMW has grown in size and significance, and is now one of the largest maritime events in the regions. The expansion of SMW reflects the growing role that Singapore plays as an international hub port and maritime centre.  Themed “People, Ideas and Opportunities”, this year’s instalment features 30 events covering topics including shipping, offshore, maritime security and oil spill response. “With the evolving maritime landscape, it is critical that we keep closely with partners to remain relevant for the next 50 years,” MPA CE said.  The biennial Singapore International Maritime Awards (IMA) was held at a gala dinner on Tuesday (21 Apr). This year’s IMA also recognised the immense contributions made by maritime pioneers for the first time. Source: The Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

    The Straits Times - 22 Apr 2015

    'Be ready to ride wave' of maritime growth (PDF File) - 11mb

    At the opening of Sea Asia, an anchor event at Singapore Maritime Week, Minister said: “We need to ensure there is sufficient capacity to meet the growth in shipping demand, and support the proliferation of mega vessels.” He added that Singapore has already invested significantly to increase port capacity. Minister also said that the Government will ensure that the maritime industry will grow in “a sustainable and responsible way” – such as introducing LNG bunkering by 2017, in line with global efforts to use cleaner and sulphur-free fuels. It will also take steps to develop maritime talent, he said. Industry leaders at the conference also discussed the future of Asia’s shipping and offshore industry against the backdrop of falling oil prices. “It’s a question of survival over the next few years,” said Mr Khalid Hashim, managing director of Thai dry bulk shipping firm Precious Shipping. Companies need to “do some things right” in order to be successful, namely scrapping old rigs, getting rid of non-core assets, raising finances and cutting costs, he said. Pacific International Lines managing director Teo Siong Seng said ship-owners should be more “responsible” when it comes to new-builds. “There is too much new-building still.” Most of the panellists, however, remained optimistic about the medium to longer-term outlook, citing the projected growth of shipping volume, on the back of Asia’s burgeoning middle class. Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

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