The MTCCs are expected to become regional centres of excellence, promoting ship energy-efficiency technologies and operations, and the reduction of harmful emissions from ships.

Under the Global MTTC Network (GMN) project, UMIP will host MTCC-Latin America. The selection of UMIP followed a competitive international tendering process.

UMIP joins MTCCs in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. In February, IMO announced that Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) will host MTCC-Africa.  In December 2016, IMO announced that Shanghai Maritime University in China will host MTCC-Asia, while the University of Trinidad and Tobago will host MTCC-Caribbean.

One further MTCC will be established in the Pacific, to form a global network of five centres, according to IMO. The regional MTCCs will deliver the agreed project milestones over a three-year period, enhancing IMO’s efforts for the enforcement of the global energy-efficiency regulations for international shipping.

IMO also informed that the MTCCs will receive allocations from the €10 million European Union funding for the project.

Aims of the GMN project

Greenhouse gas emissions from shipping are expected to increase but developing countries, which play a significant role in international shipping, often lack the means to improve energy efficiency in their shipping sectors. This project, formally entitled “Capacity Building for Climate Change Mitigation in the Maritime Shipping Industry” will enable developing countries, especially Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States, in the target regions to implement energy-efficiency measures through technical assistance, capacity building and promoting technical cooperation.

According to IMO, the project will be implemented through the network of MTCCs which, once operational, will act as focal point for:

  • improving capability in the region - by working with maritime administrations, port authorities, other relevant government departments and related shipping stakeholders to facilitate compliance with international regulations on energy efficiency for ships
  • promoting the uptake of low-carbon technologies and operations in the maritime sector through pilot projects
  • raising awareness about policies, strategies and measures for the reduction of ghg and other emissions from the maritime transport sector
  • demonstrating a pilot-scale system for collecting data and reporting on ships’ fuel consumption to improve shipowners’ and maritime administrations’ understanding in this regard, and
  • developing and implementing strategies to sustain the impact of MTCC results and activities beyond the project time-line.

International Maritime University of Panama (UMIP)

UMIP is a public university funded by the Panamanian Government and the official education institution specialized in maritime education and training of the Republic of Panama. The university’s scope involves all areas related to the maritime sector, including all aspects of shipping, maritime infrastructure and services, coastal, marine, and environmental protection. It has also developed specialized training programs for the maritime industry.

MTCC-Latin America will be located at UMIP. It will use the office space, equipment, IT infrastructure and staff of the University, which is strategically located close to the Port of the city of Panama.

The International Maritime University of Panama (UMIP) has been selected to host the regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC) for the Latin America region. Credit: IMO