WELCOME REMARKS BY MR LAM YI YOUNG, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MARITIME AND PORT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE, AT THE INAUGURATION OF NEW MPA PATROL CRAFT, AT MARINA SOUTH PIER ON THURSDAY 2 FEBRUARY 2012 AT 3.30PM

02 February 2012

Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Good afternoon.

Thank you for joining us here today as we welcome MPA's new fleet of six patrol craft.

Since its humble beginnings as an entrepot port some 190 years ago, the Port of Singapore has grown into a global hub port with vessel arrival tonnage hitting a new record of 2.12 billion gross tons in 2011. With some 1,000 vessels in our port at any one point in time, ensuring the safety and security of our port waters are of utmost priority.

Port inspectors, or PIs as they are more commonly known, from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore are responsible for the enforcement of our regulations on marine safety and environmental protections. In addition to patrolling our waters round the clock, our PIs also co-ordinate and manage responses to any marine incidents in the port. Their swift and efficient response during such incidents not only help to saves lives, but also help to minimise impact on the environment and damage to properties.

Given that we are one of the busiest ports in the world, the operational demands on our PIs are very high and our PIs must be supported by an efficient fleet of patrol craft in order to carry out their duties. As part of our commitment to continuous improvements and continued investments for the future, MPA is upgrading its fleet of patrol craft to not just meet the demands of today, but also the demands of tomorrow. In line with Singapore's commitment to promote safe, efficient and environmentally-friendly shipping, we have designed our new patrol craft to maximise operational efficiency and conform to the latest environmental requirements.

By integrating the latest in hull design, environmentally-friendly marine paints and propulsion technology, the new patrol craft are highly manoeuvrable and can proceed at high speed while maintaining stability. The innovative hull design combined with robust low-emission engines ensure the craft can operate round the clock to cater to the needs of our PIs. A user friendly navigation system that integrates nautical charts, radar, DGPS, Automatic Identification System as well as echo sounder readings in a single display allows our PIs to gain access to information expeditiously from a single source. We have arranged for the patrol craft to perform a sea demonstration later, which will show you the enhanced capabilities of the new patrol craft to respond to oil spill emergencies and perform shallow water operations.

In addition to enhancing the operational efficiency of the new craft, we have also considered the need for the craft to offer a conducive environment for the PIs during their long shifts at sea. The wheelhouse has been insulated with special polymers to reduce the noise level and installed with ergonomic seats to increase the level of comfort for the PIs and the boat crew while carrying out patrolling duties.

I am confident that with our new patrol craft, we will be well placed to ensure safety of navigation and protection of the marine environment in our port waters, even as the Port of Singapore continue to grow as a premier global hub port.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend our thanks to our staff, our partners, including Tian San Shipping and Lung Teh Shipbuilding, who have worked hard to bring us the new fleet of patrol craft.

Thank you and I hope you enjoy the demonstration later.