Kantor Stasiun Radio
Jalan Sei Tering Number 1
Batam 29451, Indonesia
The Straits of Malacca and Singapore, situated between Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula,
are approximately 1,000 kilometers long, 300 kilometers wide at their north-west
entrance, and just 12 kilometers wide at their south-east entrance, between Singapore
and Indonesia’s Riau Archipelago.
The Straits are shallow, with narrow channels, irregular tides and shifting bottom
topography, and hence are hazardous to navigation for large ships.
Despite their difficult navigational features, the Straits are the shortest and
hence the preferred shipping route between the Indian Ocean and the South China
Sea, and for oil tankers trading between the Persian Gulf and the fast-growing countries
of East Asia.
Although the current maritime safety infrastructures and regulatory mechanisms in
place in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore have reduced the frequency of ship
collisions, groundings and oil spills, occasional incidents have occurred in recent
years and some of these incidents have caused by oil spills. An innovative approach
to improving the management of maritime traffic and marine environment protection
in the Straits could ameliorate these impacts and enhance the carrying capacity
of the Straits for various uses and activities.
Recent enhancements in maritime safety infrastructure and regulatory mechanisms
have improved navigational safety and traffic flow. Singapore has an efficient radar-based
ship position monitoring system covering the Singapore Strait. In 1998, the three
littoral states of Republic of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Republic of Singapore jointly
commissioned a mandatory ship reporting system (STRAITREP) for the most congested
300 kilometer section of the Straits from One Fathom Bank to the Singapore Strait,
which combines radar and automatic ship identification and tracking. However, the
threat of collisions and groundings and of consequent environmental damage is still
significant and, with rapid traffic growth, is increasing.
The need and justification for an enhanced information technology system in the
Straits of Malacca and Singapore to address navigational safety and transboundary
marine pollution issues was initiated by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) pilot
phase project entitled, GEF/UNDP/IMO Regional Programme for the Prevention and Management
of Marine Pollution in the East Asian Seas in 1996.
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, i.e., the World
Bank), as implementing agency, mobilized co-financing for the MEH Demonstration
Project through a GEF grant whilst co-financing is provided by the commercial shipping
industry and the littoral States of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. In addition,
the Republic of Korea provided a grant to the Project covering aspects on information
A memorandum of agreement was signed between the Republic of Korea through the Ministry
of Land, Transport and Marine Affairs (formerly, the MOMAF) and IMO was signed on
23 November 2007 formalizing the financial contribution of the Republic of Korea
to the MEH Demonstration Project.
The total Project cost will be financed by the Global Environment Facility, private
sector participants (ship-owners), and by the three littoral states, with a grant
from the Republic of Korea through the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime
The Marine Electronic Highway project aims to establish a regional mechanism in
the Straits of Malacca and Singapore for enhanced maritime safety and marine environment
protection with a sustainable financial component in a co-operative arrangement
with the three littoral States of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore and partnership
with the Republic of Korea, the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), the
International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO) and the International
Chamber of Shipping (ICS).
The MEH system with its environmental modules can be used in marine pollution response
and control such as to predict the direction and speed of oil spill and aid in response
and clean-up. It is also possible to use it to identify and track ships that illegally
discharge their bilges or dump other oily wastes. The Marine Electronic Highway
(MEH) is envisioned to be a regional network of marine information technologies
linked through the ENCs-ECDIS. The availability of differential global positioning
system (DGPS) with accuracy of 1 to 5 meters enhances the navigational accuracy
of ENCs-ECDIS especially in congested and confined waters.