AUSTRALIA and Singapore have agreed to formally collaborate on establishing a green and digital shipping corridor between the two countries.

Federal transport minister Catherine King and her Singaporean counterpart Chee Hong Tat signed the memorandum of understanding on 5 March during the ninth Australia-Singapore Annual Leaders’ Meeting.

Under the MOU, the countries plan to explore opportunities to develop zero or near-zero GHG emission fuel supply chains for the maritime industry.

This would involve building necessary infrastructure, formalising standards and developing and implementing the training requirements.

The MOU also covers a digital information exchange to speed up port clearance, port calls and the flow of vessels between Singapore and Australia.

It also aims to facilitate collaboration between the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA); Australian federal, state and territory governments; as well as industry stakeholders.

“This is an important partnership for a sustainable global maritime future,” Ms King said.

“Australia is committed to supporting the decarbonisation of international shipping, which plays an important role in economies across the globe.

“This collaboration will place Singapore and Australia amongst the leaders in contributing to the international maritime community’s objectives, while supporting Australia’s exports of clean renewable energy.”

The federal government believes Australia “holds great potential” to be a producer of green marine fuels, while Singapore is the world’s largest bunkering hub.

“The MOU affirms the shared commitment of Singapore and Australia to pool our expertise and resources to develop scalable green and digital solutions for the maritime sector, and upskill our workforce to support the energy transition,” Singapore’s transport minister Mr Hong Tat said.

Separately, MPA and Australia’s CSIRO are looking to collaborate on research and development, demonstration projects, and pilots under the Australia-Singapore Initiative on Low Emissions Technologies for Maritime and Port Operations (ASLET).

First announced in 2021, the ASLET aims to support the outcomes of the Singapore-Australia green and digital shipping corridor.