SPEECH BY MR LUCIEN WONG, CHAIRMAN, THE MARITIME AND PORT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE, AT THE OFFICIAL RE-COMMISSIONING CEREMONY OF THE UPGRADED PORT OPERATIONS CONTROL CENTRE-VISTA, ON WEDNESDAY, 5 SEPTEMBER 2012, 9.45 AM

05 September 2012

Mr Lam Yi Young, Chief Executive, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen

I am pleased to join you this morning to celebrate the re-commissioning of our upgraded Port Operations Control Centre-Vista or POCC-Vista in short.

Growth in Singapore's Maritime Traffic
Singapore sits strategically on the crossroads of East-West seaborne trade routes and is connected to more than 600 ports in over 120 countries. We are the world's busiest port by vessel arrival tonnage, with more than 127,000 vessels totaling 2.12 billion gross tons calling at our port last year.Ensuring navigational safety is, therefore, no mean feat when it comes to Singapore's busy port waters, with ships arriving and departing every two to three minutes.

Demands on our port and shipping lanes will continue to grow as maritime trade increases. The Port Operations Control Centres (POCC),operated by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), play a crucial role in ensuring navigational safety, efficient management of vessel movements and the protection of the marine environment in Singapore's port waters and the Singapore Strait.

Harnessing Technology to Enhance Navigational Safety.

In our continuous effort to enhance navigational safety, Singapore is always looking to invest in technologies that improve the capabilities of the marine surveillance, communication and information systems in our POCCs. One of the technologies it adopted recently was the state-of-the-art Vessel Traffic Information System (or VTIS) that integrates data from various sources like radars, Automatic Identification System, Harbour Craft Transponder System, Closed Circuit Television System and ship databases. This allows MPA's Vessel Traffic Management operators to attain a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of the situation at sea, and allow them to manage sea traffic operations in a safer and more efficient manner.

The new VTIS, which is used in our newly commissioned POCC in Changi, has the ability to handle up to 10,000 vessel tracks at any one time. This is twice the capacity of the VTIS used in the POCC in PSA Vista when it was first commissioned more than 10 years ago. I believe some of you here may have witnessed the rapid advancements in the VTIS technology adopted in our POCCs. I was told that when Singapore's first POCC in Tanjong Pagar Complex (or TPC) was commissioned in 1990, the system was only able to track up to 500 vessels in real-time.

A year has passed since POCC-Changi was commissioned and during this period, MPA upgraded POCC-Vista with the same level of capabilities as POCC-Changi.I am pleased to announce that the upgrading of POCC-Vista has been completed. Vessel traffic management operations will henceforth be conducted at POCC-Vista and POCC-Changi, and POCC-TPC will be decommissioned.

POCC-Changi and POCC-Vista will be manned and remain operational round the clock to ensure the safety of navigation in and around Singapore waters.Both centres are fully integrated to assure that they have a common sea traffic picture and data.In times of an emergency affecting one centre, the other centre can take over the entire operations swiftly and seamlessly.The development of POCC-Changi and the upgrading of POCC-Vista thus underscore Singapore's commitment to the maritime community and partners in providing maritime safety.

Conclusion

Today's event is a significant one, as it marks the culmination of many years of hard work and dedication by MPA's POCC project team comprising officers from the Vessel Traffic Management Department, Electronic and Communications Department, Information and Technology Department, Engineering and Planning Department, Resource Management Department and Hydrographic Department. To the team, I would like to extend a pat on their shoulders, and applaud them for a job well done.

Going forward, I am confident that MPA will continue to set new heights for its Port Operations Control Centres and ensure that the port of Singapore maintains its status as a premier hub port.

On this note, I am pleased to declare the upgraded POCC-Vista open.

Thank you.