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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

IMO REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON THE MARINE ELECTRONIC HIGHWAY (MEH)

INTERTANKO participated in the IMO Regional Workshop on the Marine Electronic Highway (MEH) - First Phase in the Straits of Malacca, held in Singapore, 21-24 January 2002

This regional workshop saw all the key players once again drawn together to discuss the progress and potential future path of the project. The workshop’s objectives were also designed to generate interest from the private sector stakeholders in the activities designated to implement the MEH and to seek the private sector’s confirmations, as project partners, to participate in the planning, development, co-financing and evaluation of the first phase. Representatives from the IMO Marine Environment Division; state officials of Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia; Japan Association of Marine Safety; Nippon Foundation; OCIMF; INTERTANKO; national shipowners’ associations; as well as equipment manufacturers and suppliers were present during the 4-day workshop.

By way of background, the project was initiated by Global Environment Facility (GEF) in 1996 to address navigational safety and transboundary marine pollution issues using an enhanced information technology system in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. Feasibility studies were reviewed and endorsed by Indonesia and Malaysia to the GEF, and in November 2000, the World Bank approved in principle the Project Preparation and Development Facility (PDF) Block B Grant. A Letter of Agreement was signed early 2001 between the World Bank and IMO to implement the PDF Block B Grant.

The Regional MEH Project is planned to have 3 phases:

Phase 1 - Setting up a prototype system in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore

Phase 2 - Network construction in priority waters from the Straits to Sea of Japan/East Sea; and

Phase 3 - Completion of the entire network with emphasis on oil and gas transportation routes from the Middle East to the Far East.

Phase 1 of the project, currently being considered, is further sub-divided into the demonstration and full-scale project. Discussions primarily focused on the technical framework, and funding mechanisms of the demonstration and full-scale project.

INTERTANKO supported the initiative, although reiterated that the contribution and responsibility of the shipping industry for the demonstration and full-scale project should be limited to the specific equipment to be installed onboard the ship such as VDRs. The initial expectation was for the shipping industry to contribute to the initial funding of about USD 3 - 3.5 million. INTERTANKO also mentioned that the real benefits of the project should be highlighted, as currently much of the focus is on the cost and how to raise funds.

For more information

Contact: Minerva Alfonso,minerva.alfonso@intertanko.com