The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has started developing a new-generation vessel traffic management system to enable smooth and efficient navigation in the Singapore Strait.
This was announced by MPA chairman Lucien Wong at the International Chemical and Oil Pollution Conference and Exhibition in Singapore on 22 April.
The Straits of Malacca and Singapore are two of the world’s busiest and vital shipping lanes, being at the crossroads of East-West trade.
The occurrence of three collisions in 13 days in Singapore in 2014 underscored how busy the straits are.
Vessel arrivals in Singapore hit a record high of 2.37 billion gross tonnes in 2014.
Wong said, “As shipping traffic is expected to increase in the future, this system leverages on enabling technologies such as data analytics and decision support tools that can actively assist vessels to plan their sea passages, advise the best route for them to reach the port safely and efficiently, as well as to help alleviate any potential congestion in our waters through early detection of hot spots.”
MPA is also working with Norwegian navigational systems specialist Kongsberg Maritime on a research and development project called C-SharpER, which uses radar to detect oil traces in the water.
Wong reminded delegates not to forget the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, which was the worst oil spill in US history.
He said, “Five years on, the fishing community and its wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico are still struggling from the effects of the massive oil spill. Regardless of the scale of oil spills, we’re reminded of the importance to be ready and prepared to respond swiftly and effectively to any maritime incident, including oil and chemical spills.”