Asia Shipbuilding and Kostec have held a keel-laying ceremony for a new Pacific Island Supply Vessel in Geoje City, South Korea, as part of a GIZ program. The purpose of this program is to reduce carbon emissions in domestic maritime transport and is financed by the IKI (International Climate Initiative) and the Federal Ministry for the Environment. The overall goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by 40% below 2010 levels by 2030 and to achieve full decarbonisation by 2050 in line with The Republic of the Marshall Island’s National Determined Contribution target. The Domestic Maritime Transport Roadmap was approved earlier this year, finding ways to achieve net-zero maritime transport by 2050.
Minister Kitlang Kabua spoke at the ceremony, praising the start of a paradigm shift from engine-only ships to a new generation of ships. The 48-meter long cargo sailing ship incorporates a modern and efficient sailing platform, onboard equipment for power generation and training areas. Challenges such as the rising sea levels and ocean acidification were alluded to by Kabua.
The keel-laying ceremony was attended by management of Kostec, Asia Shipbuilding, Korea Register, IRI and the Marshal Islands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, with senior staff in attendance, such as Minister Kitlang Kabua and Ambassador Albon T. Ishoda. Kabua believes that a larger change is needed, stating “We need to say goodbye to fossil fuels”, seeing this sailing vessel as a symbol of this paradigm shift.
This project involves the delivery of an innovative sailing cargo ship for the Republic of the Marshall Islands. This is in collaboration with the German Society for International Cooperation and the Marshall Islands’ Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology. The Research Institute of the University of Emden-Leer was involved in developing the vessel, which marks a new era of advanced, sustainable shipping. A large-scale transition from outdated, fossil-fuelled marine transport to modern, technologically advanced, and sustainable vessels is necessary to combat the negative environmental impact of the shipping industry.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands aims to reduce carbon emissions and improve their environmental outcomes while providing hopes for future developments for other nations to follow. The PKA Awards have recognized and presented the project team with the 2021 PKA International Institutional Investor Initiative Award for their efforts in this project, providing further recognition to the need for a green transition for the shipping industry. Asia Shipbuilding’s innovative sailing cargo ship contributes to sustainability targets and provides a path for other countries to follow in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping.