The Saudi Transport General Authority to Host Sustainable Maritime Industry Conference (SMIC)

AI, connectivity, digitization, robotics and a slew of other mindboggling innovations to be presented in the context of the sustainable maritime industry.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 9th Aug 2023 – Under the patronage of the Minister of Transport and Logistics Services and Chairman of the Board of Transport General Authority (TGA), HE Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser is delighted to soon welcome everyone to the Sustainable Maritime Industry Conference (SMIC) slated for 2023 September 4 – 6, and it promises to be an over-the-top event.

Getting underway in less than a month, panels and workshops are featured focusing on a greener future and a myriad of technological innovations in the sustainable maritime industry. The three day-long conference will take place in the beautiful port city of Jeddah at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. The conference will offer a platform for maritime professionals, government officials, researchers, and technology innovators to share knowledge, exchange ideas, and explore solutions for a greener future. “Innovation for a Greener Future” is the theme of this highly anticipated event.

The Maritime Industry has embraced the need to operate its ships more efficiently and environmentally responsibly while, at the same time, remaining economically viable. The world’s economy is heavily dependent on the movement of goods globally by sea. It has been an inexpensive, highly accessible means for transport of goods of all sizes and shapes for many decades. Now is the time to revolutionize this industry into one that is sustainable. This is a monumental task and has challenged the minds of some of the most intelligent, forward-looking individuals on the planet. There will be four main topics [MOU1] [fa2] discussed by panels of 4 experts plus a moderator presented in a challenging and thought-provoking way.

First of all, HE Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser will detail some of the amazing contributions that Saudi Arabia has already made and will be making towards a sustainable maritime industry. The first session will enlighten regarding a greener maritime future – sustainable solutions towards net zero. The Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) begun in 2021 is focused on bringing all of Saudi Arabia’s climate efforts under one vision to lead the way to a net-zero future by 2060. Last year the SGI announced wonderful news that the world’s largest CCS (carbon capture and storage) hub would be built in Saudi Arabia and, by the ambitious date of 2028, be operational! The hub takes carbon dioxide from several emitting sources, such as heavy industries and power, and then transports and stores it using a common infrastructure. A hub can decarbonize an entire industrial region, support jobs and attract new clean industries. Other areas that will be presented include sustainable fuel options such as hydrogen or ammonia. Recycling, using biodegradable materials and minimizing waste generation through efficient practices can significantly reduce the industry’s environmental impact. Sustainability can be increased by applying circular economy principles: efficient use of resources, reduction of waste and pollution and the promotion of sustainable practices throughout the maritime value chain. Panelists will also discuss the importance of preserving marine ecosystems, protecting biodiversity and implementing measures to mitigate the impact of maritime activities on the environment.

Another immensely interesting topic on the roster is Innovation and Digitization. A panel of experts will be exploring the role of digitization, data analytics and emerging technologies in optimizing operations, reducing resource consumption and enhancing environmental performance within the maritime sector. In the area of connectivity, Saudi Arabia has taken great strides towards employing the use of digitalization of shipping operations. It scored the highest regional progress in the Maritime Connectivity Index in 2021 and is ranked 20th globally in the maritime transport industry. Vessels must stay on line to operate efficiently, remotely monitor, maintain and secure their assets. By leveraging digitally-enabled operational measures, ships can avoid unnecessary diversions and achieve a significant increase of 10-20% in energy efficiency. The cutting-edge satellite communication (Satcom) technology aligns with the international Maritime Organization’s (IMO) targets for the shipping industry, aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030.

A third very exciting group of sessions will involve discussions of Modern Technologies. Wind-assisted propulsion such as sails and rotor sails can harness wind power and reduce fuel consumption. Advanced energy storage systems, including batteries and fuel cells are being integrated into ships These systems enable the storage of renewable energy generated on board and provide power for propulsion and onboard operations, reducing reliance on traditional power sources. Waste heat recovery systems capture and utilize waste heat from ship engines and exhaust gases. This recovered heat can be converted into useful energy, improving overall energy efficiency and reducing fuel consumption. Hull design and coatings such as air lubrication system and bulbous bows, optimize hydrodynamics to reduce drag and increase fuel efficiency. Additionally, eco-friendly hull coatings help reduce biofouling and underwater friction, further enhancing vessel performance. Smart ship technologies integrate automation, data analytics and artificial intelligence to optimize vessel operations. These systems enable real-time monitoring, predictive maintenance, and efficient route planning, leading to fuel savings and emissions reduction. Autonomous and remotely operated vessels are being developed, offering the potential for optimized route planning, precise navigation and efficient operations without crew onboard. These vessels reduce human error, optimize fuel consumption and enhance safety.

Finally, the conference will address Capacity Building in the sustainable maritime industry. Providing comprehensive training and education programs for maritime professionals is essential. This includes educating seafarers, ship operators, and industry stakeholders about sustainable practices, environmental regulations, and the importance of reducing carbon emissions. In the last five years more than 770 Saudi and multi-national cadets were trained onboard Saudi flag ships. Continuous learning and skill development programs can help individuals stay updated with the latest advancements and best practices. Saudi Arabia has six accredited maritime educational institutions and more than 3,200 maritime training courses. Women are also being encouraged to find employment in the maritime industry. Saudi Arabia hosted the “Arab Women in Maritime: Biofouling Management Workshop” in May, 2023. It is also active in the IMOGENDer Network, the organization for IMO representatives to coordinate efforts to advance gender-equality. Prioritizing the safety and well-being of maritime workers is vital in creating a sustainable industry. Saudi Arabia also has two Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centers (MRCC). Implementing robust safety protocols, promoting a positive safety culture, and ensuring proper working conditions onboard vessels are essential. This includes adequate rest periods, access to medical facilities, and mental health support for seafarers. Engaging and empowering maritime crews can significantly impact sustainability efforts. Encouraging crew members to actively participate in environmental initiatives, providing them with the necessary tools and knowledge to contribute, and recognizing their contributions can foster a sense of ownership and responsibility towards sustainable practices. Open and transparent communication channels between different stakeholders, including ship operators, port authorities, and regulatory bodies, are essential. Collaboration and knowledge-sharing platforms can facilitate the exchange of ideas, best practices, and lessons learned, leading to improved sustainability outcomes. Promoting ethical and responsible leadership within the industry is crucial. Leaders should set an example by demonstrating a commitment to sustainable practices, encouraging innovation, and fostering a culture of environmental responsibility. This involves incorporating sustainability goals into the organization’s mission and values, as well as holding individuals accountable for their actions. Establishing incentives and recognition programs can motivate individuals and organizations to adopt sustainable practices. Recognizing and rewarding efforts and achievements in sustainability can encourage innovation and inspire others in the industry to follow suit.

Join others from 170 countries to hear keynote speeches, stimulating panel discussions, and participate in some of the ten practical interactive workshops. Imagine all the networking opportunities there will be with more than 2,000 participants attending! You will find yourself motivated by ten prominent keynote speakers plus another fifty world renown experts gathered in panels to share their research and experience throughout the three days of the conference. At this time more than 15 sponsors have registered.

An opportunity for companies, consulting firms, educational organizations and government offices to set up an exhibit at the conference to display and demonstrate their activities, services and products is available. Visit the website:

The Sustainable Maritime Industry Conference promises to be a transformative event, creating a roadmap for sustainable development in the maritime sector. It offers a unique opportunity for participants to contribute to global efforts in mitigating climate change, preserving marine ecosystems, and shaping a more sustainable and resilient maritime industry.

For more information about the Sustainable Maritime Industry Conference, including registration details and sponsorship opportunities, please visit:

About Transport General Authority (TGA)

The Transport General Authority (TGA) is the regulatory and legislative Authority for the railway, maritime and land transport industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. TGA maintains high standards of quality and safety in the transport sectors. TGA uses data and technology to create a safe and efficient transport environment and promotes investment opportunities to meet the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 socio-economic goals.

The maritime transport sector aims to develop and enhance the merchant fleet and passenger vessels operating under the Saudi flag and to ensure that the seafarers on board these vessels are qualified, in line with the international conventions for safety, marine environment protection and maritime security issued by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Moreover, the maritime sector aims to develop maritime transport activities and services on a sustainable basis to achieve the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

Media Contact

Organization: The Saudi Transport General Authority

Contact Person: Abdullah Alangari



City: Riyadh

State: Riyadh

Country: Saudi Arabia

Release Id: 0908235389

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