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​NTU launches region’s first maritime energy test bed

Published on: 02-Nov-2015

New $8 million research facility to develop greener maritime energy solutions

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has launched Southeast Asia’s first advanced maritime energy test facility that aims to be a platform for scientists and engineers to develop innovative eco-friendly maritime technologies.

With more stringent regulations on ship emissions and energy efficiency standards in years to come, the new Maritime Energy Test Bed will be a boost to the maritime industry by developing cleaner and more sustainable maritime energy solutions.

These include advanced filters called scrubbers – devices that curb harmful ship emissions – and alternative energy sources such as biodiesels, a form of renewable, clean-burning diesel.

Such clean energy solutions are aimed at delivering cost savings and competitive advantages, and enhance the reputation of maritime companies for championing sustainable technologies.

The S$8 million facility will also serve as an educational platform for polytechnic students, undergraduates, and PhD candidates to get hands-on experience in sustainable maritime technologies and innovation.

It was officially opened this morning by Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

Mr Tan said, “MPA is pleased to partner NTU, Singapore Maritime Institute and our industry partners in this strategic undertaking. The fruition of the Maritime Energy Test Bed represents a successful collaboration between the research sector and the industry, and is a timely development as the maritime sector looks to green and sustainable technologies to save on costs, mitigate the effects of climate change and address growing environmental regulations.”

Leading NTU’s efforts will be the Energy Research Institute at NTU (ERI@N) and Maritime Institute at NTU (MI@NTU).

NTU Chief of Staff and Vice President for Research, Professor Lam Khin Yong, said, “The maritime industry is a crucial economic pillar carrying about 90 per cent of the world’s trade. This new facility puts NTU at the forefront of global maritime energy research, developing sustainable maritime energy solutions and raising Singapore’s maritime R&D capabilities and expertise.”

The Maritime Energy Test Bed is jointly funded by NTU and the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI). SMI will contribute S$4.7 million over the next 10 years, while NTU provides S$3.4 million, with support from other maritime leaders such as ClassNK.

Mr Yasushi Nakamura, Representative Director and Executive Vice President at ClassNK, said, “ClassNK is dedicated to securing a safer, greener future, and the Maritime Energy Test Bed represents the next step in our efforts to achieve this goal. Together with our industry & academia partners in Singapore and around the world we hope to contribute to the advancement of future green technologies for the entire maritime industry by carrying out R&D projects utilizing the METB facility.”

Shipping has been recognised as the most fuel efficient mode of freight transportation. However, ships typically use low quality fuel, especially heavy fuel oil, which emit harmful atmospheric pollutants, including sulphur oxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide, and other particulates.

Moving towards a new era of green shipping, the Maritime Energy Test Bed at NTU will conduct research and development (R&D) in areas such as alternative sources of energy or clean fuels, fuel additives to increase energy efficiency, and technologies for cleaner emissions.

To achieve this, the facility comes equipped with a fully-fledged 1.5 megawatt diesel ship engine, which can run on most of the conventional liquid fuel types for energy research such as biodiesel, gas-to-liquid, and synthetic diesel. It will also be installed with advanced sensors and monitoring devices to facilitate research innovation in energy storage, noise pollution, and waste heat recovery.

The facility will also serve as a training platform for engineers by equipping them with the skills for the 21st century green maritime industry. Polytechnic students, undergraduates and even PhD candidates will be able to advance their knowledge and expertise in maritime sustainability and innovation.

Prof Lam said, “As Singapore is primarily a global trade hub, education and training are important aspects of the new Maritime Energy Test Bed at NTU. With highly skilled manpower, Singapore will be able to attract overseas investments to the nation’s maritime industry.”


Media contact:
Nur Amin Shah (Mr)
Assistant Manager (Media Relations)
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University

About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.

The University’s main Yunnan Garden campus has been named one of the Top 15 Most Beautiful in the World. NTU also has a campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

For more information, visit

About the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA)

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) was established on 2 February 1996, with the mission to develop Singapore as a premier global hub port and international maritime centre (IMC), and to advance and safeguard Singapore's strategic maritime interests. MPA is the driving force behind Singapore's port and maritime development, taking on the roles of Port Authority, Port Regulator, Port Planner, IMC Champion, and National Maritime Representative. MPA partners the industry and other agencies to enhance safety, security and environmental protection in our port waters, facilitate port operations and growth, expand the cluster of maritime ancillary services, and promote maritime R&D and manpower development.

About the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI)

The Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) is a joint effort by the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA), the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB). Established in Jan 2011, the mission of the SMI is to make a difference through world-class R&D, training & education and thought leadership in policy formulation for the maritime industry. The SMI aims to develop and pursue strategies and programmes in order to further enhance the development of the maritime industry. Key focus areas of the SMI include sectors such as shipping, port and maritime services as well as offshore and marine engineering.

SMI will partner with both the Institutes of Higher Learning and the Research Institutions under A*STAR to work closely with the industry to develop and grow the industry through knowledge and innovation. SMI will work towards attracting renowned academics and researchers to base in Singapore and groom the next generation of local maritime talent to meet the needs of the industry.

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