Singapore Takes Lead in Sustainability Reporting

By MarEx 2015-06-05 01:27:23

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has achieved a first in the maritime industry and public sector with its inaugural Sustainability and Integrated Report titled “Towards a Future Ready Maritime Singapore”. The report follows the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4’s Comprehensive Guidelines for Sustainability Reporting as well as Integrated Reporting adhering to the International Integrated Reporting Council’s (IIRC) Framework.

For Financial Year 2014, MPA has departed from its previous reporting format and adopted a more holistic approach in reporting its performance to its stakeholders, covering both internal and external stakeholders comprising its customers and partners, suppliers and vendors as well as its employees.

This shift reflects the move by MPA to adopt a more integrated approach in discharging its roles and responsibilities, whereby beyond promoting and regulating the maritime industry and ensuring the smooth operations at the port, it will also champion broader efforts with the maritime community in ensuring the maritime industry creates a positive impact on society, economy and environment.

Recent initiatives include setting up the MPA Sustainability Office last year to drive programs such as the Maritime Singapore Green Initiative (MSGI) in encouraging more members of the shipping community to adopt eco-friendly ship designs and construction and operations. The office has also spearheaded initiatives such as the installation of solar panels at MPA’s piers and facilities, use of more energy efficient lighting at its premises, promotion of recycling, as well as driving the safety, risk and sustainability management initiatives for the maritime industry such as through the Singapore Registry of Ships Forum and Enterprise Risk Management Forum.

Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA, said, “MPA is proud to be among the first public sector agencies to achieve this significant milestone with our inaugural Sustainability and Integrated Report. As one of the world’s busiest ports and a leading international maritime center, it is important that MPA takes the lead in promoting good practices within the maritime community that will enhance our position as a clean, efficient and safe port. We hope the maritime community will continue to support MPA’s initiatives as we work towards building a Future Ready Maritime Singapore that is competitive as it is sustainable.”

Paul Druckman, CEO, International Integrated Reporting Council said, “I congratulate MPA on the publication of their first integrated report and for their leadership in embarking on their journey. Companies in the maritime sector around the world, and especially port authorities, should use this as a leading example for corporate reporting in the sector, and I urge them to follow MPA’s example by raising the quality of their reporting to this high standard. MPA’s report provides relevant information about the company, its corporate structure, strategic themes, performance and operations in a visually appealing way. It is a further example of the innovation in corporate reporting emerging from South East Asia and Singapore in particular.”

MPA, as an early mover towards Sustainability and Integrated Reporting, hopes to encourage companies in the maritime industry and organizations in the public sector to follow suit. With its holistic and systems-wide perspective, Integrated Reporting resonates with MPA’s philosophy that the sum of the whole is greater than its individual parts. MPA therefore values its close partnership with its stakeholders and believes that working together is essential to tackling many of the complex challenges facing the industry today. MPA continues to score highly on the Pro-Enterprise Ranking Survey for its business-friendly practices and this initiative will take the efforts further.

The report is available here.


Mystery over oil spill in Indonesia

Enigma surrounds an oil spill that occurred in Indonesia’s Penyu Bay on 20 May.
Until today, no one can say for certain what caused the oil spill.
Indonesia’s state-owned oil company Pertamina initially thought the oil leak occurred when product tanker Martha Petrol, which had been trading in

Fire Investigation Highlights Disaster Potential

By MarEx 2015-06-04 20:59:44

The Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board has released its findings on the engine room fire on ro-ro Parida, demonstrating how a rather small and well-handled fire can result in the potential for a larger disaster. A minor malfunction in a pressure gauge caused a fire that triggered a loss of propulsion. The onboard conditions interacted with the environmental conditions and created a risk of allision with an offshore platform.

On October 7, 2014, fire broke out on the Danish-flagged Parida while it was underway from Scrabster, United Kingdom, to Antwerp, Belgium. The events can be viewed as three stages: The fire, the engine immobilization and the uncontrolled drift towards the Beatrice Alpha platform. The first stage involved the actual fire in the funnel casing triggered by an unscrewed pressure gauge in the thermal heat-oil system. This allowed oil to enter the area and ignite upon contact with the source of ignition, which was likely the hot surface of the exhaust gas boiler inlet pipe.

The second stage was a consequence of the first; the thermal heat-oil system was substantially damaged by the fire, which caused the activation of main engine slowdown function. Restarting the engine was delayed because of the engine crew’s concerns about re-igniting the fire and uncertainty about the general condition of the engine room systems.

In the third stage, Parida was adrift in the direction of the nearby oil production platform Beatrice Alpha, which was eventually shut down and evacuated. The situation was stabilized as Parida’s drift was halted, and it was taken under tow to the nearby port in Cromarty Firth.

The crew were able to quickly extinguish the fire due to its early discovery and their quick response. The fire was discovered visually before any alarms were received. The funnel casing was fitted with one automatic smoke detector, but this was located in the hydraulic room below the level where the fire developed most intensely. Therefore, the purpose of giving an early warning about a fire in this area was not fulfilled. The smoke would need to develop substantially to fill the space below before activation of the smoke/heat detectors.

The fire alarm system was not fitted with a log and, therefore, it is uncertain if a fire alarm was activated on the fire control panel on the bridge or whether only a fault message was indicated due to damage to the wiring to the smoke detector caused by the fire. During a larger fire scenario, the absence of a fire detector log is disadvantageous and offers little support in the efforts to keep track of the development and spreading of the fire.

After the discovery of the fire at approximately 1800, the crew initiated firefighting at 1815, and the fire was extinguished at 1835. Under the given circumstances with adverse weather conditions and the distance between the accommodation and the funnel casing, the relatively short response time of 15 minutes was essential for extinguishing the fire. The prompt closing of the ventilation and main engine that would draw air into the engine room was also instrumental in the containment of the fire.

The main fuel to the fire, the thermal heat-oil, was cut off by the thermal heat-oil system because the sensors and their wiring were damaged by the fire causing the circulation pumps to stop. The emergency quick release valves that were designed to enable the oil to be dumped to the drain tank during an emergency malfunctioned as a result of the fire.

The emergency situation that the quick release valves were designed to mitigate thus rendered the valves inoperable. This illustrates well how it can be difficult to design safety features for situations where complexity increases by unexpected interconnections between the accidental events and safety system components, states the report.

The damage and subsequent shutdown of the thermal heat-oil system immobilized the main engine which resulted in the ship drifting uncontrollably. The thermal heat-oil plant and the main engine systems were interconnected in such a way that the continuous operation of the main engine was not possible.

The anchors were deployed and eventually slowed down the drift of Parida and, to some extent, stabilized the situation by removing the immediate threat of allision and provided time for Parida to be assisted by Pacific Champion.

The report is available here.