Singapore has launched an S$8 million facility to test and develop technologies for a cleaner shipping industry.

Researchers at the Maritime Energy Test Bed will look into alternative energy sources like biodiesels, fuel additives for better energy efficiency and technologies for cleaner emissions.

The facility will take these innovations from labs to large-scale application, testing new technologies before sea trials.

It has a fully-functional ship engine fitted with sensors to help researchers monitor energy storage, noise pollution and waste heat recovery, as they test new technologies.

Shipping is the most fuel efficient way to transport freight. But they typically use low quality fuel which emit harmful pollutants.

Clean technologies will help the industry increase its competitive advantages. The sector is looking to “green and sustainable technologies to save on costs, mitigate the effects of climate change and address growing environmental regulations”, said Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

The research facility is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, and is jointly funded by the Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Maritime Institute.

The facility will also help educate polytechnic and university students on sustainable shipping technologies.