December 7, 2023

NextGEN Connect-GreenVoyage2050 Project points to critical role of regional energy hubs in supporting maritime decarbonisation


Routes-based action plan methodology to accelerate the uptake of clean marine fuels

A collaboration between Singapore, Norway and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), NextGEN Connect[1]-Green Voyage2050 Project[2], identified a key role for regional hubs to help connect large demand clusters and remote locations, with regional fuel supply sources, in order to enable a more inclusive and effective transition to a low-carbon maritime future.

These findings were unveiled in the Lloyd’s Register Maritime Decarbonisation Hub (LR MDH) report titled “Routes-based Action Plans: A Toolkit” launched at the Voyage to Net-Zero Forum, which was organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), at the 28 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28/CMP8/CMA5) yesterday.

The report was developed following a workshop discussion that was held from 5 to 6 October 2023 in Singapore, with the participation of 40 stakeholders representing ports and National Administrations across Asia, based on the concept of the LR MDH’s First Movers Framework for green corridors. The workshop simulated the process steps of the routes-based action plan methodology, providing a chance for further refinement and addressing the limitations in its application in the wider Asian context. Additional engagements with stakeholders from the Pacific are envisaged to further refine the methodology.

“One of the key findings in our report highlighted the varying pace of decarbonisation efforts across the Asian region and the need for regional coordination among governments to establish energy clusters that will serve both as demand centres and energy producing hubs” said Charles Haskell, Director at LR MDH.

The creation of energy producing hubs includes defining a strategy that brings together demand from different countries at different developmental stages across the region to build up investment cases for implementing energy infrastructure at scale, all the while taking into consideration the economic and social benefits for local communities.

The report also emphasized that routes-based action plans should be steered by national governments to give confidence to the industry’s infrastructure investment decisions, with development banks and regional funds needing to play a part to help tailor financing solutions to support infrastructure development.

“If we truly want to achieve a net-zero future where no one is left behind, we cannot focus only on existing first mover initiatives. We must also study locations where the energy infrastructure is still in its infancy”, added Charles Haskell.

Essential to driving the implementation of routes-based action plans, as highlighted in the report, is the pooling of resources and capacity building to develop the business case for building the necessary infrastructure for regional hubs that include Least Developing Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). This will require regional coordination and collaboration involving governments and all stakeholders across the maritime supply chain.

Mr. Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive of MPA, said, “As we steer toward a sustainable maritime future, fostering a collective and inclusive approach is imperative in the development of green corridors and the energy transition to decarbonise international shipping. The NextGEN Connect-GreenVoyage2050 collaboration emphasizes the important role of regional energy hubs in enabling the inclusive adoption of clean marine fuels, particularly for LDCs and SIDSs. MPA looks forward to continuing its collaboration with IMO, Ministry of Climate and Environment of Norway and LR MDH to pilot solutions to reduce GHG emissions from ships and drive innovative transformations in the maritime industry.”

Mr. Sveinung Oftedal, Chief Negotiator of the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, said, “Separate routes for emission-free ferries and ships can play an essential role in stimulating early action to adopt zero or near-zero emission technologies and fuels, and hence are an important step towards decarbonising shipping. There is currently a significant volume of maritime traffic between Asian countries, and our workshop was a great forum to discuss opportunities the decarbonisation of maritime shipping can bring and how efforts can be linked to countries’ wider energy transition.”

Mr. Jose Matheickal, IMO Director of Partnerships and Projects, said, “Supporting developing countries, including SIDS and LDCs, in their efforts to implement the 2023 IMO Strategy on the Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships is imperative to the decarbonisation of the maritime sector. IMO is pleased to provide, through this collaboration, practical support around the development and subsequent implementation of National Action Plans and route-based actions in line with IMO’s MEPC RESOLUTION.366(79) that encourages Member States to undertake these voluntary actions to facilitate the achievement of greener shipping and reduced emissions.”

Download “Routes-based action Plans: a toolkit” from





About the Lloyd’s Register (LR) Maritime Decarbonisation Hub

The LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub is a joint initiative between Lloyd’s Register Group and Lloyd’s Register Foundation. Our mission is to accelerate the sustainable decarbonisation of the maritime industry, by enabling the delivery and operation of safe, technically feasible and commercially viable zero-emission vessels by 2030 and beyond. We bring together thought leaders and subject matter experts with the skills, knowledge and capability to help the maritime industry design, develop and commercialise the pathways to future fuels required for decarbonisation.

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About Lloyd’s Register

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Lloyd’s Register (LR) is a global professional services group specialising in marine engineering and technology. Created more than 260 years ago as the world’s first marine classification society, to improve and set standards for the safety of ships.

Today we are a leading provider of classification and compliance services to the marine and offshore industries, helping our clients design, construct and operate their assets to accepted levels of safety and environmental compliance.

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About Lloyd’s Register Foundation

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About the International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The International Maritime Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations which is responsible for measures to improve the safety and security of international shipping and to prevent pollution from ships. It is also involved in legal matters, including liability and compensation issues and the facilitation of international maritime traffic. It was established by means of a Convention adopted under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva on 6 March 1948 and met for the first time in January 1959.


About the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA)

MPA was established on 2 February 1996 with the mission to develop Singapore as a premier global hub port and international maritime centre, 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, maritime and port regulator and planner, international maritime centre champion and national maritime representative. MPA partners with industry, research community and other agencies to enhance safety, security and environmental protection in our waters, facilitate maritime and port operations and growth, expand the cluster of maritime ancillary services, and promote maritime digitalisation and decarbonisation, R&D and manpower development. MPA is responsible for the overall development and growth of the maritime domain and Port of Singapore. In 2022, Singapore remained one of the world’s busiest transshipment hubs with a container throughput of 37.3 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs).

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About the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment 

The Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment was established in 1972 and has the main responsibility for ensuring integrated governmental climate and environmental policies.

Environmental challenges are complex and affect all actors in society. Developments in the various sectors are largely determined by sectoral policies. In efforts to create sustainable development, environmental considerations need to be integrated into policy making in all areas of society.

In addition to initiating, developing and implementing its own measures and actions, the Ministry also acts as promoter and coordinator to ensure that the authorities in the various sectors implement the environmental policies in their particular areas.
Green shipping policies and the IMO environmental agenda and conventions is also within the responsibility of the Ministry.


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Eileen Kang

Corporate Communications Department

Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore



[1] The NextGEN Connect initiative was established between the IMO and the MPA Singapore in April 2022. The initiative aims to bring industry, academia and global research centres together, to offer inclusive solutions for maritime decarbonization for trials along shipping routes.

[2] An MoU was subsequently signed by the IMO, the Ministry of Climate and Environment of Norway, and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) in March 2023 to cooperate and collaborate on actions to assist developing countries in their efforts to reduce GHG emissions from ships and the activities of ships in ports, within the frameworks of the NextGEN Connect initiative and the IMO-Norway GreenVoyage2050 Project.