Speech by 2M Tan See Leng at ASMI 55th Anniversary Dinner

Speech by 2M Tan See Leng at ASMI 55th Anniversary Dinner

President of the Association of Singapore Marine Industries, Mr Simon Kuik,


Members of ASMI,


Distinguished Guests,


Ladies and Gentlemen,


1. Good evening. It is indeed my pleasure to join all of you here tonight to celebrate the 55th Anniversary of the Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI).


History and Contributions of ASMI


2. ASMI has played a significant role in the development of Singapore's Marine and Offshore Engineering industry (M&OE).


3. The association has come a long way since starting with just 10 members in 1968, back when it was known as the Singapore Association of Shipbuilders and Repairers. Today, ASMI has grown to almost 300 members.


4. ASMI has been a valuable partner to the Government over the years, especially where it comes to capability development of the industry. The association has been active in promoting the adoption of automation and robotics, with the development of initiatives like the Integrated Digital Shipyard and the Industry Digital Plan, to spur automation and digitalisation within the industry.


5. ASMI also played an important role when the industry was undergoing tough times.


a. We are appreciative of ASMI’s support during the deep and protracted downturn caused by COVID-19.


b. ASMI had worked with the Government to roll out measures such as the Job Support Scheme, loan relief, bridging loan measures, and skill upgrading programmes, to strengthen our capabilities that have been nurtured over the decades.


6. So let me take the opportunity to thank ASMI once again, for its work in catalysing growth and transformation, and for being a pillar of support for the M&OE industry in Singapore.


Looking to the Future


7. I am glad to see that things have turned around for the industry. Our shipyards are humming with activity, with skilled hands building vessels of all shapes and sizes. I understand that the industry successfully secured over $20 billion in orders last year.


8. Even as the industry emerges from the recent downturn, I trust that you will not rest on your laurels.


a. Peaks and troughs are not uncommon in business. But a wise company will not allow the euphoria of success at the upcycle to go to its head and squander its gains away.


b. To this end, I encourage companies to go beyond pursuing just top-line growth, to continue improving your productivity, and sharpening your long-term value proposition as this competitive industry evolves.


9. In this vein, allow me to share two areas of opportunities for the M&OE industry in the growing green economy.


Maritime Decarbonisation


10. The first opportunity is that of maritime decarbonisation. Global demand for electrification, retrofitting services, energy-efficient technologies, and compliance consulting is set to increase in the short term as the shipping industry accelerates its decarbonisation journey.


a. Electrification, as well as new builds and conversions of existing ships and structures to support the use of lower-carbon fuels will open up new avenues for growth. Penguin, for instance, is developing Singapore’s first fully-electric ferry for Shell Singapore.


b. The newly-imposed minimum energy efficiency standards by the International Maritime Organisation will also create opportunities for companies providing relevant technologies, such as wind-assisted propulsion and advanced hull designs, which will help ship owners meet these standards.


Green Energy


11. Secondly, the growing demand for new energy sources, such as offshore wind, hydrogen and ammonia, presents a large potential market for specialised vessels and equipment supporting the installation, maintenance, and repair of relevant infrastructure.


12. We are well-placed to capture growth in this space, given the synergies with our M&OE sector, our excellent port and logistics handling capabilities, and strong financing ecosystem.


a. Singapore companies have made good progress in this area. For example, 39% of Seatrium’s current orderbooks is now taken up by projects serving the offshore renewables sector.


  b. Sea Forrest and Strategic Marine recently entered into a new partnership to develop hybrid-electric Crew Transfer Vessels. I believe that more companies, perhaps many of you here tonight, are similarly developing relevant capabilities.


13. What we hope to do and see is for M&OE companies to develop and provide solutions for the production, storage, and transportation of hydrogen and ammonia.


Equipping our talent for new opportunities


14. I don’t think we can afford to do the same things over and over again. Skilled manpower is a crucial ingredient in helping firms successfully capture these new opportunities.


a. With a strong pool of well-trained workers driving productive operations, we can compete effectively with global competitors.


  b. The Marine Decarbonisation Champion programme, launched in partnership with Workforce Singapore, the Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Employees' Union, and e2i in April this year, is nurturing a new generation of decarbonisation leaders, by equipping them with the skills and expertise to drive the industry's transition towards a sustainable future. This is a good start. There is room for similar programmes for workers across different roles and seniority, to train and upskill workers in support of companies’ efforts to pivot to new opportunities.


15. Earlier on, I had the opportunity to network with some of your leaders, who provided feedback on the difficulties they faced getting workers, including Work Pass Holders. I understand that this is a cause for concern. But I want to urge you to look at keeping manpower upskilling as a priority.


a. For those who are not able to find the manpower needed, the Ministry of Manpower, as well as the Economic Development Board and Enterprise Singapore, will stand ready to work with you.


b. But we need your help, your support, to work out clear deliverables and frameworks to drive this transformation together, so that we can achieve win-win partnerships.


Renaming ASMI and Conclusion


16. To better reflect their pursuit of new opportunities in the industry, I am happy to announce that ASMI will be changing their name to "Association of Singapore Marine and Offshore Energy Industries", with a new "Offshore Energy" in its name. “Offshore Energy” represents the next bound of development for the industry.


17. ASMI will continue to be a key partner as Singapore charts our course towards a more sustainable future. There will be challenges ahead, but I am confident that the industry has the leadership, expertise, determination, and charisma to overcome these challenges, capture new opportunities in the green economy, and achieve even greater heights in the years to come.


18. Congratulations once again on your 55th anniversary, and I wish you a wonderful evening ahead.

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