Speech by Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang at the Opening Ceremony of Rolls-Royce Global Marine Headquarters, 15 February 2011
Sir John Rose
Chief Executive of Rolls-Royce
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am pleased to join you for the opening of the Rolls-Royce Global Marine Headquarters in Singapore.
Strong partnership between Singapore and Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce’s partnership with Singapore spans more than 50 years. It began modestly with Rolls-Royce setting up a representative office. Today, Singapore is the global site for the Rolls-Royce Group’s marine services business, marine repair and overhaul service centre and Asia ship design centre. With the establishment of the Group’s global marine headquarters in 2009, Singapore became the base from which the group charts its global business development and strategy, as well as global marketing activities.
Promising horizons for the marine & offshore industry
Singapore enjoys a global leadership position in the marine & offshore industry. We produce 70 per cent of the world’s jack-up rigs, and also retrofit 70 per cent of the world’s Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels. Despite the global downturn, the manufacturing output for the sector in 2009 was 20 billion Singapore dollars, which represents 10 per cent of our total manufacturing output. Equally important, the long-term prospects for this sector remain bright. Last year saw new orders coming in from the offshore sector, while the shipping sector saw freight rates rising on the back of the recovery in global trade. However, even as prospects and opportunities for this industry continue to grow, so will the competition from the region and the world.
Growing R&D talent and capabilities
To stay ahead, we need to ensure Singapore’s marine & offshore industry remains globally competitive. To do this, we need to build up our capabilities in research & development (R&D). Indeed, a number of companies have already seized the initiative to set up R&D facilities in Singapore. These include corporate R&D centres of local shipyards, Keppel and SembCorp, and classification societies such as Det Norske Veritas and the American Bureau of Shipping.
To further support private sector R&D, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the Economic Development Board have jointly established the Singapore Maritime Institute to drive the research agenda for areas such as Port & Shipping, Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering, Offshore & Subsea Systems, Maritime Services and Oilfield & Downhole Systems. Key research areas that have been identified by the Institute include green shipping, high temperature and high pressure materials and ruggedized electronics.
As part of the broad effort to grow R&D capabilities in Singapore, we are also working with our tertiary institutions on initiatives to strengthen our talent base. At the undergraduate level, these include a tie-up between the Singapore Institute of Technology and Newcastle University for Naval Architecture, Marine Engineering and Offshore Engineering. At the postgraduate level, we have established courses in Subsea Engineering and Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering. With these programmes in place, we expect 220 students, trained in marine & offshore, to join the workforce every year.
Singapore to become a global hub for “green” shipping
We are also positioning Singapore to capitalise on the opportunities in “green” shipping, which is growing as a result of increasingly strict environmental requirements. It is a diverse field that includes ballast water treatment technologies, emission technologies and clean propulsion using LNG as an alternative power source. With our existing strengths in water treatment, emission technologies, and a rapidly growing clean energy sector, Singapore is well-suited for this growth opportunity. We offer an ideal location where standards for green shipping can be established, and where innovative vessel designs, products and technologies are developed for the green maritime industry of the future.
In this regard, we welcome maritime industry leaders such as Rolls-Royce to capitalise on Singapore’s position and maritime expertise, and consider future opportunities in maritime R&D and green shipping.
Today’s opening marks yet another significant milestone in the Rolls-Royce-Singapore partnership. I congratulate the management and staff of Rolls-Royce on the opening of your Global Marine Headquarters. We look forward to many more years of successful partnership between Rolls-Royce and Singapore. Thank you.
Source: Ministry of Trade and Industry