Hong Kong Transport Minister Lam Sai-hung

Hong Kong draws on Singapore for modern, green port development

Smart logistics is an area of collaboration Hong Kong intends to push with Singapore.

Knowing that it lags in green and smart port development, Hong Kong’s maritime and logistics industry looks at Singapore in expediting its transformation.

This push starts through the development of a digitised port community system and contracting a study for green methanol bunkering this year.

“By the end of this year, we will also be able to work out a plan on how we can provide green methanol bunkering in Hong Kong. These are the areas that we can learn from Singapore,” Hong Kong Transport Minister Lam Sai-hung told the magazine.

“As far as the smart port is concerned, we are now picking up our steps. We are now developing digitised port community system,” Lam said, adding that the system will link together upstream and downstream port activities to allow a more transparent  information flow.

As Hong Kong keeps its sights on green methanol bunkering, Lam said the government should be able to “work out an action plan” by this year.

He also said that Hong Kong has also taken “forward” and “solid” steps in liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering.

“We’ll start the preparatory work to take forward the LNG bunkering this year. We will conduct technical studies and start installation so that the LNG can be supplied sometime later this year or early next year,” the transport minister said.

Hong Kong is already conducting a legal exercise to upgrade its legislative framework to allow LNG bunkering in the region.

Lam pointed out progress with the commissioning of an offshore LNG terminal by CLP Power and HK Electric in the south of Hong Kong in mid-2023. The LNG terminal had also begun its trial operation.

“This will provide a good basis for us. We [will] also invite LNG companies or suppliers to provide bunkering services so that their supply can meet both the buyer and also hazard requirements in Hong Kong,” Lam said.

Areas of collaboration

Shifting focus to potential collaborative efforts, Lam suggested that Hong Kong could explore partnership opportunities with Singapore in the realm of smart logistics.

“Singapore developed smart logistics earlier than Hong Kong. There’s still room for us to be more modernised and smart. We have to pick up quickly otherwise we will lose the business opportunities,” Lam said.

“In this respect, we have some sort of subsidy system, subsidy scheme to provide to logistics providers. In fact, we are now increasing the subsidy amount,” he added.

Recently, Hong Kong enhanced its HK$300-m (SG$51.62m) Pilot Scheme which offers funding support to third-party logistics service providers for technology adoption projects.

“We would like to encourage our logistics providers to [be] smarter,” Lam said, noting that Hong Kong is also looking at how Singapore has been encouraging its logistics providers to go smart.

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