BIMCO members in the salvage and wreck removal business will be pleased to note Singapore’s latest incentive scheme aimed assisting operators to contain costs whilst bolstering the island nation’s International Maritime Centre status.
MPA’s Mr. Cheong Keng Soon (Director Port Division) highlighted new incentives for salvage companies with equipment in the region when he addressed participants at the opening of the Salvage and Wreck Asia Conference on 12 September.
Mr. Cheong explained, “In April this year, as part of the port dues review to simplify the port dues structure and streamline the various incentive schemes, MPA introduced a Salvage Vessel 12-Month Port Dues Scheme for salvage vessels to enjoy reduced port dues during their stay in Singapore. Under this scheme, the owner, agent or master of a salvage vessel approved by MPA that carry requisite salvage equipment and who commits to respond to MPA’s mobilisation calls when the vessel is available, may opt to pay port dues for a 12-month period or part thereof with no restriction on its maximum stay and mooring locations.”
Cheong also pointed out that being located in the heart of South East Asia, salvage companies located in Singapore are in a good position to respond to emergencies throughout the region. For example in the MV Rena case, a crane barge was sent from Singapore to Tauranga, New Zealand, to aid in the salvaging efforts for the container ship. Today, there are a total of 9 salvage companies based Singapore.
The challenges of salvage operations involving the new mega container ships were illustrated Graeme Bowles of Brookes Bell. This was quite timely in view of the upcoming attempt to right the passenger ship Costa Concordia which involves related challenges.
Costs and insurance concerns relating to such operations were illustrated by Nick Sansom of The Standard Club. The USD 600 million price tag of the Costa Concordia operation could easily be dwarfed by a future mega containership salvage operation.
At the 2012 conference, organized by informa maritime with the support of MPA, participants were briefed on the latest developments surrounding the BIMCO WRECKFIXED 2010, WRECKHIRE 2010, and WRECKSTAGE 2010 Agreements, all available for use on the BIMCO IDEA2 web-based contract editing system.
BIMCO, September 16, 2013; Image: TITAN Salvage