Australia and Southeast Asia Unite for Maritime Decarbonization


Australian enterprises gained direct insight into the maritime sector of Southeast Asia during the inaugural Australia Southeast Asia Business Exchange mission held in Singapore and Malaysia. Led by Assistant Minister for Trade, Senator the Hon Tim Ayres, the mission centered on the transition to green energy within the maritime industry. The delegation consisted of 22 Australian companies, research institutions, and industry bodies spanning the entire maritime supply chain.

According to the United Nations, the worldwide maritime sector is projected to allocate billions annually towards decarbonization efforts over the next ten years. Malaysia has set a goal of achieving 40% adoption of low-carbon fuels for marine transportation by 2050. Similarly, Singapore aims to transition its harbor craft fleet to fully electric propulsion and net zero fuels by the same timeframe.

These decarbonization goals open opportunities for Australian organizations that offer green solutions for the maritime industry. The mission generated strong interest from Singaporean and Malaysian ports and investors. Austrade organized a comprehensive program that provided Australian delegates with insights into innovative practices and emerging opportunities. Discussions centered on fuel, vessel, and port-side technology.

During the Malaysia visit, delegates toured the Port of Tanjong Pelepas, which holds a position among the top 15 major ports globally. Renowned for its ability to accommodate mega container vessels and Ultra Large Crude Vessels through its expansive access channel, both ports are significant focal points within the maritime domain of the region.

Sixty high-ranking executives from Singapore and Malaysia, representing various sectors in both government and industry, came together for three roundtable sessions. These discussions delved into the investments and technologies essential for fostering sustainable value chain development, aligning with the decarbonization objectives of the International Maritime Organisation. Additionally, the delegates participated in meetings and networking gatherings with industry frontrunners facilitated by Austrade.

Australian enterprises were provided with an opportunity to present their green technologies and services tailored for the maritime sector. These offerings encompassed various areas such as hydrogen and ammonia production, storage solutions for hydrogen, green and renewable methanol production, electrification, battery and solar power systems, innovations in containerization, logistics solutions, civil engineering advancements, and more.

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.

The maritime decarbonization mission forms a component of the Australian Government’s Southeast Asia Business Exchange program, which endeavors to enhance bilateral trade and investment between Australia and Southeast Asia. With the region's burgeoning economy and the rise of its middle class, Southeast Asia emerges as a key export destination. Additionally, Australian enterprises have the opportunity to leverage the region's advanced manufacturing and technology sectors to broaden and fortify their supply chains.

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