Decarbonising the Future of Maritime with RINA

As part of our blog’s thought leadership series centred around sustainable shipping and decarbonisation, Mr. Pang Yong Song, Marine South East Asia & India Area Business Development Director at RINA, shares with us his views on decarbonisation and the green transition in the Singapore maritime sector, as well as initiatives at RINA aimed at accelerating this pivotal agenda.

Mr. Pang Yong Song, Marine South East Asia & India Area Business Development Director at RINA
What does green and sustainable shipping mean to RINA?

The world has set ambitious targets for decarbonisation for the next few decades. The European Commission has presented its plan to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, with the ambition to drive climate neutrality by 2050.

RINA cares about overcoming environmental challenges and thereby enhancing the maritime industry on the whole. As part of our RINA Carbon Neutral 2023 strategy, we are committed to neutralising our carbon footprint by 2023 thanks to a series of carbon reduction initiatives, and the acquisition of carbon credits for offsetting. Sustainability is one of the main pillars of RINA’s strategic plan. We strongly believe that our current and future role in decarbonisation, through people, who are our main asset, will help drive the growth of RINA.

What are some green/sustainable shipping initiatives (i.e. decarbonisation projects) that RINA is working on?

Our path towards sustainability involves both internal and external measures. Internally, we have designed initiatives to increase awareness of more sustainable ways to approach our business and carry out our activities. Externally, we have developed innovative external services which generate positive outcomes for our customers’ projects and businesses, as well as for our stakeholders, society and the environment.

RINA collaborates with different ship designers looking into the development of bulk carriers and tankers using ammonia and methanol as fuel. In Singapore, we are partnering with SeaTech Solutions and Fratelli Cosulich Bunkers in the development of an ammonia bunker tanker. We are also part of the Goal Zero Consortium which was awarded funding by the Maritime Port Authority (MPA) and Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) to develop, deploy and commercialise a fully electric cargo vessel. In Europe, we lead a 22-member Project Consortium in the EU-funded project ENGIMMONIA to prove the capabilities of ammonia and the role it plays as an alternative fuel of the shipping sector for the future.

We also bring together the important maritime stakeholders via 4 International Decarbonisation Committees – in Italy, Greece, North Europe, and Asia. The dialogues and different workgroups will target improvements in technology, regulatory changes, digitally enabled services and the potential funding of green technologies to benefit the industry.

Joint Development Project agreement signing with SeaTech Solutions and Fratelli Cosulich Bunkers on the development and designing of an ammonia bunker tanker

3D design of the electrically-powered lighter craft designed by SeaTech Solutions for the Goal Zero Consortium
How have your applications such as the RINA Cube platform been able to have an effect on green/sustainable shipping in Singapore?

RINA Cube is a web-based platform that guides operators through predictive asset management, making it easy to use and for companies to reduce costs. It is designed to integrate data from various sources and is capable of machine-learning driven analytics to create unique business insights to help companies to make decisions based on data evidence. It is capable of extracting value from data to optimise processes and asset performance.

In the oil sector, it is estimated that digital asset management, using sensor networks for example, can reduce costs by 25% and increase production by 8%. The advantages of digital innovation are also represented by the possibility of creating a digital twin at the design stage of an infrastructure, by predictive maintenance and by improved energy efficiency management.

As Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) fuel is widely regarded as a “transition fuel” solution, are there other particular green fuel alternatives that you hope to see become more commercially available in the future?

It is generally agreed across the industry that there will be a broad range of different alternative fuels, propulsion solutions and energy efficiency measures serving the future fleet. We believe that hydrogen is currently one of the best options. Among the alternative fuel options, it is the cleanest as it does not release carbon or nitrogen oxides emissions, and has the highest gravimetric energy density.

RINA has joined forces with Italy’s SNAM to collaborate in the hydrogen sector, to study and test the compatibility of existing infrastructure already in operation with hydrogen. We have also signed a MOU with 5M Renewables to develop the Thessalonica HydroShip, a floating green hydrogen production vessel, and are involved in multiple projects involving Hydrogen which are funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation funding programme, such as EVERYWH2ERE. Additionally, our Delta H Laboratory has the capability of testing materials and pressure vessels for hydrogen storage of up to 1000 bar (14500 psi), playing a crucial role in developing advanced hydrogen storage technologies.

These are just some examples of projects which RINA is involved in, demonstrating our belief that hydrogen has a huge role to play in the net zero journey in the shipping industry.

How does your role help play a part in keeping Singapore as a leading global hub port and international maritime centre?

For Singapore to continue to be a leading global hub port and international maritime centre, Singapore needs to be able to contribute to the global decarbonisation efforts. We are glad that Singapore’s MPA and the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) share the same approach as RINA and recognise that collaboration is key to our journey in decarbonisation. 

Through the various projects that we are participating in, we have acquired substantial experience and knowledge on the different alternative fuels. Through our Marine Consulting arm, we can contribute to the Singapore shipping industry by sharing our know-how through projects and collaboration. We are confident that Singapore will remain the leading global hub port and international maritime centre for the years to come.

What does RINA hope to see in terms of sustainability and decarbonisation in the industry?

We hope to see concrete actions being taken by the maritime stakeholders to move into the alternative fuels, including transitional ones. The government could provide more incentives to encourage owners and operators to shift from fossil fuels to the more costly alternatives. We also have to pilot trial these new concepts and solutions with the available technologies and set up the necessary infrastructure, which will take time. We must start now.

How is the current progress of Singapore’s maritime industry in transitioning to a greener industry?

Singapore is fully committed to the decarbonisation agenda, having launched the Singapore Green Plan 2030 which charts ambitious and concrete targets to advance Singapore’s national agenda on sustainable development. On the shipping side, the GCMD was formed to support decarbonisation of the maritime industry to meet or exceed the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) goals for 2030 and 2050. Immediately, the Centre has called for a study on safe bunkering of ammonia in which the first pilot is expected to be in late 2023. We are showing progress, but this is just a starting point.

What are some key factors in encouraging more shipping companies to transition their fleet to more green/sustainable shipping alternatives?

The fundamental key factor is to convince shipping companies the reasons behind this green transition. This must be backed up by sound technical training of the management and key executives leading the transition in their respective companies. Financially, it must also be feasible for these companies to participate in this transition in a sustainable fashion. All three factors must be in place to encourage more shipping companies to transition their fleet to sustainable shipping alternatives.

Mr. Pang Yong Song on staying relevant in the green transition
With the constant stream of initiatives and ideas such as switching to LNG, what are some tips you have for companies to stay relevant in the green transition?
  1. Be open to discussion and collaboration. Companies like RINA are available to support you on this journey to mitigate your risks.
  2. Seek assistance and advice from various agencies to improve your knowledge.
  3. Stay agile and nimble in order to transition effectively when the opportunity arises.

Want to be part of this green transition in the maritime industry? Visit the Maritime Singapore Connect website ( for available job opportunities now!

About RINA

With 160 years of experience in the marine industry, RINA is a multinational company that helps build strong successful businesses. Through a network of 200 offices in 70 countries, RINA provides classification and technical advisory services to meet the challenges of designing and building ships ever more demanding in performance, safety and environmental sustainability.

RINA have been operating in the maritime sector since 1861. Today, technical competence, attention to quality and focus on innovation are the pillars that allows RINA to support shipping in the digital transformation path and in achieving CO2 emissions reduction objectives established by IMO.


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Mr. Lars Kastrup


Mr. Lars Kastrup is the Chief Executive Officer of Pacific International Lines (Pte) Ltd (PIL).

Prior to joining PIL, Mr. Kastrup was CEO of NOL/APL, and subsequently assumed the role of Executive Vice President, Strategy and M&A at CMA CGM Group. A veteran in the global shipping industry with over 30 years of experience, Mr Kastrup’s other roles include Executive Vice President of Assets at CMA CGM Group heading up CMA Terminals, CMA Ships, Container Logistics as well as regional carriers such as MacAndrews, OPDR and Mercosul; as well as Vice President at AP Moller-Maersk.
Mr. Kastrup complemented his tertiary education with leadership and management training at Penn State University and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Angeline Teo


Ms. Angeline Teo is the Managing Director and Head of Global Transportation and Offshore, Global Corporate Banking at OCBC Bank which focuses on the maritime, aviation, land & port ecosystems.
Ms. Teo has spent over three decades in maritime finance. Prior to OCBC, Ms. Teo was working at ING Bank, ABN Amro and DnB in Singapore focusing on maritime and offshore.
Ms. Teo graduated from the National University of Singapore with a degree in Business Administration.

Mr. John Martin


Mr. John Martin began his career in London in 1989 with Richards Hogg Lindley Average Adjusters, and qualified as a Fellow of the UK Association of Average Adjusters in 2000.
At RHL he worked in their offices in Australia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. In 2003 he joined Gard Hong Kong, as a claims handler. Mr. Martin also worked in Gard Japan, and in 2014 he moved to Singapore to set up the Gard Singapore office.
Besides running Gard Singapore, Mr. Martin also heads the P&I and H&M claims units and is the Senior Claims Representative for Gard in Asia.

Mr. Cyril Ducau


Mr. Cyril Ducau is the Chief Executive Officer of Eastern Pacific Shipping Pte Ltd, a leading shipping company headquartered in Singapore for the past 30 years.

He is also currently the Chairman of Kenon Holdings Ltd and a member of the board of directors of Gard P&I (Bermuda) Ltd. and of the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation Limited, which was established by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. He was previously Head of Business Development of Quantum Pacific Advisory Limited in London from 2008 to 2012 and acted as Director and Chairman of Pacific Drilling SA between 2011 and 2018.
Prior to joining Quantum Pacific Advisory Limited, Mr. Ducau was Vice President in the Investment Banking Division of Morgan Stanley & Co. International Ltd. in London between 2000 and 2008.
Mr. Ducau graduated from ESCP Europe Business School (Paris, Oxford, Berlin) and holds a Master of Science in business administration and a Diplom Kaufmann.