The Micronesian Center for Sustainable Transport (MCST) and the International Windship Association (IWSA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly mobilize regional and international resources and collaborate on actions to support the use of wind propulsion technology to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from ships in the Pacific region through the establishment of a Pacific Wind Propulsion Hub.

By formalizing their partnership, the two organizations will build upon past collaborative efforts to establish and expand the hub. They will develop a local ecosystem to enable wind propulsion technology to take off in the region.

The Pacific Wind Propulsion Hub will serve as an epicenter for building capacity and exchanging experience, knowledge, and best practices around wind propulsion technology use. The hub will incubate and support maritime organizations and companies in the region by integrating Indigenous knowledge, local development, and international networks, and providing increased support for Research and Development, training, and educational services.

Gavin Allwright, Secretary General of the International Windship Association, says: “The Pacific Wind Propulsion Hub will create a level playing field for all stakeholders and lower the bar (and cost) on accessing finance and services, building a mutually beneficial virtual and physical network. This is the second wind propulsion hub established between IWSA and regional partners and we are certain the impact of this hub in prospering wind energy use by ships in the Pacific region and beyond will be significant.”

Dr. Peter Nuttall, Scientific and Technical Advisor at the Micronesian Center for Sustainable Transport, says: “The MCST is the vehicle for the Republic of the Marshall Islands to achieving our transport emissions reduction targets set under the Paris Agreement. In doing so, we want to act as a catalyst for our friends and neighbors in other Pacific Island states. Shipping and sea transport is the very lifeline of our maritime atoll nation, and our ocean region and wind propulsion played a major role in Pacific history. The Pacific Wind Propulsion Hub will enable wind power to return to the region to drive down emissions and create a sustainable shipping future.”

IWSA is a member-driven, not-for-profit association that facilitates and promotes wind propulsion solutions for commercial shipping worldwide, bringing together all parties in the development of a windship sector to shape industry and government attitudes and policies.

The MCST is the Republic of the Marshall Islands initiative to achieve transport emissions reduction targets set under the Paris Agreement. The project aims to build and operate a Pacific country-owned and-focused world-class Centre of Excellence as a research engine to empower the long-term decarbonization of Pacific transport and the advocacy of the Pacific in related international fora and negotiations.

The MoU was signed by the Honorable Wilbur Heine, Minister of Education, Republic of Marshall Islands in his capacity as the Chairman of the MCST Board and Gavin Allwright, IWSA Secretary General following the successful ‘Pacific Wind Powered Shipping: The Past, The Present’ seminar held on 26th October 2023.