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Tuesday, November 23, 2021 

Wärtsilä Voyage has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to further strengthen the two organisations' collaboration in smart port innovation and digitalisation.

The main objectives of the partnership are to initiate, develop and promote innovative solutions that accelerate digitalisation; foster interoperability in e-navigation and ship-to-shore secure data communications to enable port-to-port optimisation and establish reliable, cyber safe and cost-effective information exchange pathways between all ecosystem partners to increase operational efficacy. The scope of the collaboration includes the development and field-testing of intelligent vessel capabilities to improve interoperability of onboard and onshore systems for well-coordinated and sustainable operations.

Chris Chung, Director of Digital Innovation and Strategic Projects, Wärtsilä Voyage, said: “Together, we will work with other industry stakeholders, such as Wärtsilä’s customers whose vessels would be calling on the Port of Singapore. Subject to their consent, we will use the vessel’s nautical data to test-bed reliable and secure information exchanges using applications like Wärtsilä Navi-Port. This will help implement standard Application Programming Interfaces (API) between participating vessels and MPA’s Just-In-Time (JIT) coordination platforms in digitalPORT@SG, and digitalOCEANS to enable optimal arrival and departure of vessels from the port.”

Wärtsilä Voyage and MPA will assess data and cyber threats to vessels’ shipboard systems, ship-to-shore communications system and MPA’s JIT operations.  

Increasing traffic, the pandemic, and the general unpredictability of weather conditions have acted as catalysts for ports to adopt digital technologies that help mitigate such disruptions.

Koh Chin Yong, Chief Information Officer/Acting Director (IT), MPA, said: “At MPA, we have been leading the development and implementation of digital port clearance technology to improve efficiency in the world’s leading hub port. This collaboration with industry partners like Wärtsilä, using its Navi-Port for Just-in-Time planning and coordination on the digitalPORT platform, further solidifies our commitment towards digitalisation to support port-to-port optimisation and maritime decarbonisation.”

Wärtsilä Voyage and MPA have a long-standing relationship built on a series of commercial and R&D initiatives, such as the IntelliTug Project, next-generation navigational simulator for Centre of Excellence in Maritime Safety, a Ship Traffic Control Simulator, and a Full mission bridge simulator for enhancing the port’s training capabilities.

As ship sizes and global traffic grow, congestion has become a major contributor to shipping emissions.  As per industry estimates, bad planning, early arrivals, and the subsequent time spent waiting in ports mean that the industry is unnecessarily burning bunker totalling US$ 18bn/yr, equivalent to around 160mt of unnecessary CO2 emissions. According to Wärtsilä, better ship-to-shore coordination and shortening port stays by 10% would enable a massive reduction in fuel consumption.

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