Funds agreed for Marine Electronic Highway in Straits of Malacca and Singapore
of the Marine Electronic Highway (MEH) Demonstration Project in the Straits
of Malacca and Singapore is set to begin shortly, following the signing of a
US$6.86 million grant agreement (on 19 June) between the Global Environment
Facility (GEF)/World Bank and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
regional demonstration project aims to link shore-based marine information and
communication infrastructure with the corresponding navigational and communication
facilities aboard transiting ships, while being also capable of incorporating
marine environmental management systems. The overall objectives are to enhance
maritime services, improve navigational safety and security and promote marine
environment protection and the sustainable development and use of the coastal
and marine resources of the Straits' littoral States, Indonesia, Malaysia and
In addition to the US$6.86 million assigned to IMO for the regional MEH demonstration
project, the GEF/World Bank has also agreed to grant US$1.44 million to Indonesia
for the procurement of equipment for a differential global positioning system
(DGPS) station and automatic ship identification (AIS) stations, as well as
tidal instruments and an ocean data buoy.
The MEH is being built upon a network of electronic navigational charts using
electronic chart display and information systems (ECDIS) and environmental management
tools, all combining in an integrated platform covering the region that allows
the maximum of information to be made available both to ships and shipmasters
as well as to shore-based users, such as vessel traffic services. The overall
system - which would also include positioning systems, real-time navigational
information like tidal and current data, as well as providing meteorological
and oceanographic information - is designed to assist in the overall traffic
management of the Straits and provide the basis for sound marine environmental
protection and management.
of the demonstration project follows a preparatory phase, from 2001 2005, involving
IMO, the littoral States and other partners, which was also funded by the GEF/World
Bank (amounting to US$473,000).
Start-up activities of the regional component of the MEH demonstration project
will commence in July with the recruitment of a Project Manager and consultants
to establish the Project Management Office in Batam, Indonesia; preparation
of the first Project Steering Committee Meeting, to be held within the year;
preparation of bidding documents for various goods and services required by
the project; as well as assistance to Indonesia in the procurement of maritime
safety facilities. The project's experts will also prepare the bidding document
for a hydrographic survey, scheduled to take place in 2007, of the Traffic Separation
Scheme of the Malacca Strait Routing System from One Fathom Bank to Pulau Iyu
Kecil, using multi-beam technology, with the aim of producing electronic navigation
charts of the Straits.
go-ahead for the project from the GEF/World Bank followed the signing, in Jakarta,
Indonesia, in September 2005, of agreements to co-operate and collaborate to
implement the MEH Project. Signatories to those agreements included the three
littoral States, IMO, the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), the
International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO) and the
International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).
23, 26 June 2006
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