Insights from the Singapore Maritime Week Leaders Perspectives

Calls for acceleration towards green shipping against the backdrop of IMO’s 2030 targets, as well as strategies to manage change and transformation were among the key themes discussed at the SMW Leaders’ Perspectives panel discussion on the opening day of the Singapore Maritime Week.

Moderated by Mr. Rashpal Bhatti, VP, Maritime and Supply Chain Excellence of BHP, C-suite leaders from BW Group, ING Bank, Ocean Network Express and Shell Singapore shared their views on the impact of transformation in the areas of sustainability, finance and talent. 

The panel comprised of:

  • Mr. Andreas Sohmen-Pao, Chairman, BW Group
  • Ms. Aw Kah Peng, Chairman, Shell Singapore
  • Mr. Jeremy Nixon, Global CEO, Ocean Network Express (ONE)
  • Mr. Stephen Fewster, Global Head, Shipping Finance, ING Bank
From left; Mr. Jeremy Nixon, Mr. Andreas Sohmen-Pao, Mr. Rashpal Bhatti, Ms. Aw Kah Peng and Mr. Stephen Fewster
Accelerating Maritime Decarbonisation

More than a buzzword, decarbonisation is a reality that industries—including maritime—have to grapple with. Mr. Bhatti opened with the question of what needs to happen for maritime to hasten its decarbonisation journey.

The panellists unanimously agreed that maritime has to act now. Mr. Sohmen-Pao and Ms. Aw highlighted how actions taken by the industry require a significant lead time to mature. Research and development of greener fuel options are happening at this moment. However, questions on cost, large scale availability and safe handling of new fuels must be addressed.

Building on Mr. Sohmen-Pao’s point on the large-scale availability of green fuels, Ms. Aw emphasised that Singapore would have to build infrastructure that supports the bunkering of new fuels. Approaches such as utilising Singapore’s existing supply chains, infrastructure or technology and adapting them to accommodate new fuels may be considered.

We need to look beyond fuels but also the technology that will enable it. Look at it as energy in totality and the broader range of technology that is available to us”

Mr. Nixon noted that there are methanol- and ammonia-ready ships being manufactured but they do not have a sufficient supply of green fuel to power them. This is where financial incentives may come in to nudge organisations towards decarbonisation through measures such as levies on carbon fuels or access to financing from banks. 

Decarbonisation: In Transition

Future decarbonisation goals aside, what can maritime do at present to gradually reduce carbon emissions? To this end, Mr. Nixon suggests a few options—firstly, LNG-fuelled ships with the view that over time the ships can run on green LNG when it is made available. Next, a dual-fuel methanol engine ship or build ships that run on oil but can be retro-fitted when green fuels are in commercial production. 

Concurring, Ms. Aw suggested that on an organisational level, companies can examine their internal capacities to drive efforts towards reaching decarbonisation targets. Joining the topic, Mr. Fewster observed that if more “plug-and-play” modular ships are developed, banks will be able to design new financing mechanisms to support such changes. 

Greening Maritime with Financing Options

Moving into the topic of green financing, Mr. Fewster acknowledged the difficulties of obtaining green qualifications for ship financing. Instead, banks are able to offer sustainability-linked loans that track the environmental performance of shipping companies and tag their interest rates based on organisational improvements. 

Banks are able to take credit risk but not so much innovation risks. What we need to do is allocate risks to parties that can take them. For example, technical risks should go to shipyard and engineer operators while operating risks lie with shipowners… there has to be a sharing of risks from an equity and interest perspective

Attracting and Retaining Maritime Talent

With seismic shifts shaking up the sector, the panel agreed that recruiting practices must evolve to attract the right pool of talent. In Ms. Aw’s point of view, hiring broad-based talent with diverse skillsets and attracting more females are at the top of her mind.  

The challenges that maritime faces are complex and will benefit from a diverse of perspectives—a sentiment that strongly echoed by Mr. Fewster and Mr. Sohmen-Pao. Besides attracting talent, organisations will have to cultivate an environment that not only provides employees with exposure but also one where networking is encouraged and rife with collaboration.

To retain talent, Mr. Nixon shared that ONE is looking at rotational practices across its organisation, teams and geographies for employees to take on fresh challenges. As digitalisation becomes integral to maritime organisations, Mr. Sohmen-Pao cautioned against tunnel vision when recruiting fresh talent. Digital experts are no doubt essential but for a healthy and vibrant maritime ecosystem, he stresses the importance of attracting diverse experts that fulfil different nodes.

In a fractured world, we need more supply chain experts and lawyers to navigate sanctions. In a world of stagflations, we will need more commercial and finance people that manage finance and risk. In a world of pandemics, we will need great human resource and crewing teams”

Make a change with maritime and discover purposeful career and internship opportunities through the MSC Maritime Career Portal today:

*Photo Credits: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore


Inaugural MSC Maritime Digital Challenge Grand Finals Prize Presentation

Over 129 tertiary students across 35 teams took part in the inaugural MSC Maritime Digital Challenge that seeks to plug Singapore students with a passion for technology into the maritime industry.
Students from the Singapore Management University and Nanyang Polytechnic were announced as winners of the challenges posed by Eastport Maritime, Kanda and Torvald Klaveness at the Prize Presentation held on 13 November 2021.

MSC Maritime Digital Challenge 2021

Three challenge statements, 35 teams, 129 students and 12 finalist teams from 4 universities & 3 polytechnics. Catch behind-the-scene highlights of the MSC Maritime Digital Challenge 2021.

Singapore Maritime Foundation | MSC Maritime Digital Challenge 2021

Catch highlights of the MSC Maritime Digital Challenge 2021. We thank Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport Mr. Chee Hong Tat for being our Guest-of-Honour at the event.

SMF New Year Conversations 2022: Year-in-Perspective Video

The past two years of learning to live with Covid-19 has been challenging, but Maritime Singapore has remained resilient. What are the fundamental tenets that attract companies to anchor their business in Singapore and grow their operations here? And what more can be done to leverage on Singapore’s strengths to enhance its attractiveness as a global business hub for maritime companies? How will the Singapore Maritime Foundation organize its work around Connectivity, Innovation and Talent to strengthen the maritime ecosystem? Find out in this Year-in-Perspective video.

SMF New Year Conversations 2022: Opportunities Amid Disruptions

The 2022 SMF New Year Conversations that took place on 13 January 2022 was graced by Guest-of-Honour Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Transport & Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations. Over 250 industry leaders across the breadth of maritime attended physically and virtually.
Singapore was announced to have secured the overall top spot as an international maritime centre for the fifth consecutive time in the DNV-Menon Leading Maritime Cities 2022 report.
Thank you to our industry partners for your strong support.

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.