New ISO 9001 Standard Released

By MarEx 2015-09-28 21:10:39

The revised ISO 9001:2015 for Quality Management was published on September 23 after being approved unanimously by 75 member countries.

This concludes over three years of revision work by experts from nearly 95 participating and observing countries to bring the standard up to date with modern needs.

With over 1.1 million certificates issued worldwide, ISO 9001 helps organizations demonstrate to customers that they can offer products and services of consistently good quality. It also acts as a tool to streamline their processes and make them more efficient at what they do.

The 2015 edition features important changes, which Nigel Croft, Chair of the ISO subcommittee that developed and revised the standard, refers to as an “evolutionary rather than a revolutionary” process. “We are just bringing ISO 9001 firmly into the 21st century. The earlier versions of ISO 9001 were quite prescriptive, with many requirements for documented procedures and records. In the 2000 and 2008 editions, we focused more on managing processes, and less on documentation.

“We have now gone a step further, and ISO 9001:2015 is even less prescriptive than its predecessor, focusing instead on performance. We have achieved this by combining the process approach with risk-based thinking, and employing the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle at all levels in the organization.

“Knowing that today’s organizations will have several management standards in place, we have designed the 2015 version to be easily integrated with other management systems. The new version also provides a solid base for sector-quality standards (automotive, aerospace, medical industries, etc.), and takes into account the needs of regulators.”

ISO 9001:2015 replaces previous editions and certification bodies will have up to three years to migrate certificates to the new version.


MHI Divides Shipbuilding Business

By MarEx 2015-09-28 20:41:05

On October 1 two new wholly owned group companies of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) will commence business operations.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. will handle ship constructions, while Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Hull Production Co., Ltd. will manufacture hull blocks. By making full use of the diverse resources cultivated at the Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works, the two new companies will pursue enhanced competitive strength by narrowing product lines to areas of core competence and engaging in more compact business operations, said the company in a statement.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Shipbuilding will focus on the construction of LNG and LPG gas carriers, a type of vessel in which MHI says it excels. Efficiency enhancement will be pursued primarily through production streamlining from continuous construction of the same ship type and supply chain management reforms. The new company will also achieve greater speed and mobility from a compact organizational structure, while measures will be taken to promote active communication within the organization, to strengthen cost competitiveness and to stabilize earnings.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Hull Production will specialize in the production of large-scale hull blocks, an area in which the Nagasaki Shipyard’s Koyagi Plant excels. The new company will pursue expansion in production scale, continuous production of identical blocks and investments aimed at production streamlining. Plans also call for the company to market its large-scale hull blocks to other shipyards and steadily expand its production volumes.

Leveraging its distinctive capabilities – for example, the ability to manufacture large-scale hull blocks indoors and its ability to supply multiple blocks simultaneously – the company says it will obtain assured quality and high productivity as well as short delivery times and lower costs.

Through the years the Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works has handled a broad range of technologically advanced large-scale commercial ships. Going forward the two new companies will strive toward further development of MHI’s commercial ships business by taking full advantage of and reorganizing these robust resources in terms of technology, production and staff.


China to Launch National Emissions Trading Scheme

By MarEx 2015-09-28 20:24:35

President Xi Jinping has announced plans for an emissions trading scheme whilst on a state visit to Washington. The announcement was made as Xi and Barack Obama issued a U.S.-China Joint Presidential Statement on Climate Change. The statement describes a common vision for a new global climate agreement to be concluded in Paris at COP21 this December.

In the statement, China confirmed that it plans to launch in 2017 a national emission trading system covering power generation, steel, chemicals, cement and other key industrial sectors, as well as implement a “green dispatch” system to favor low-carbon sources in the electric grid.

China is the world’s top polluter, accounting for around one quarter of the world’s emissions, and the nation has already launched seven pilot trading schemes in locations such as Beijing and Shanghai.

The trading scheme announcement complements the recent finalization of the U.S. Clean Power Plan, which will reduce emissions in the U.S. power sector by 32 percent by 2030.

However, Professor John Mathews of Australia’s Macquarie University says: “It will not be lost on observers that China will be introducing the very kind of scheme that failed to get through the US Congress, passing the House but being defeated in the Senate. How interesting that China the Communist country is introducing the kind of market-based emissions trading scheme that the United States was unable to launch.”

Anita Talberg, Ph.D candidate at the University of Melbourne says the E.U. and the rest of the world will be looking closely at the integrity and robustness of the Chinese design. If China gets it right, and can elicit enough buy-in, it could represent a turning point for climate change, she says.

Both countries are developing new heavy-duty vehicle fuel efficiency standards, to be finalized in 2016 and implemented in 2019. Both countries are also stepping up their work to phase down super-polluting hydrofluorocarbons.

Looking beyond their shores, the two countries announced further steps to help accelerate the transition to low-carbon development internationally, including a new climate finance commitment by China of CNY 20 billion ($3.1 billion) to help developing countries combat climate change and new steps to control public support for high carbon activities. The two countries also re-affirmed their commitment to bilateral cooperation, both at the federal and sub-national levels.

Building a Common Vision for the Paris Agreement

On mitigating the impact of climate change, the two leaders agreed on three elements of a package to strengthen the ambition of the Paris outcome. First, they recognized that the emissions targets and policies that nations have put forward are crucial steps in a longer-range effort to transition to low-carbon economies and agreed that those policies should ramp up over time in the direction of greater ambition.

Second, they underscored the importance of countries developing and making available mid-century strategies for the transition to low-carbon economies, mindful of the below 2 degrees Celsius global temperature goal.

Third, they emphasized the need for the low-carbon transformation of the global economy this century.

The two leaders recognized the crucial role of major technological advancement in the transition to low-carbon economies and endorsed significant increases in basic research and development into clean energy technologies in the coming years.


Low-Carbon Project Launched in Singapore

By MarEx 2015-09-28 19:55:19

The Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships Project (GloMEEP), which aims to support increased uptake and implementation of energy-efficiency measures for shipping, was formally launched on Monday September 28 in Singapore, at the IMO-Singapore Future-Ready Shipping 2015 conference.

This Global Environment Facility (GEF)/United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)/IMO project, formally designated “Transforming the Global Maritime Transport Industry towards a Low Carbon Future through Improved Energy Efficiency”, will focus in particular on building capacity to implement technical and operational measures in developing countries, where shipping is increasingly concentrated.

Funding for the two-year project was agreed in July. IMO will execute the project, which marks the beginning of a new blueprint for creating global, regional and national partnerships to build the capacity to address maritime energy efficiency and for countries to mainstream this issue within their own development policies, programs and dialogues.

Attending the GloMEEP launch were representatives of the lead pilot countries for the project: Argentina, China, Georgia, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Morocco, Panama, Philippines and South Africa. The lead pilot countries will be supported in taking a fast-track approach to pursuing relevant legal, policy and institutional reforms, driving national and regional government action and industry innovation to support the effective implementation of IMO’s energy efficiency requirements.

The project inception meeting and global project task force meeting will take place in Singapore on September 30 and October 1.

Speaking at the project launch, IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu expressed his appreciation to Dr. Naoko Ishii, CEO of the GEF and Dr Andrew Hudson from UNDP, for their support for the project.

Sekimizu also thanked Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, an official strategic partner for the project and host of the Future-Ready Shipping 2015 conference. The conference has gathered some 200 delegates to discuss ways forward in encouraging the uptake of energy-efficient ship technologies.

IMO energy-efficiency requirements

Mandatory technical and operational energy-efficiency measures were adopted by Parties to Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) in July 2011 and entered into force on January 1, 2013. These regulations made mandatory the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for certain types of new ships, and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for all ships. Since the entry into force of the regulations on energy efficiency for ships in 2013, further work has been undertaken to extend the scope of application of the EEDI to include several additional ship types, to further develop guidelines to support uniform implementation, and to promote technology transfer.

IMO’s third study on greenhouse gas emissions from ships (2014) estimates that international shipping emitted 796 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) in 2012, down from 885 million tonnes in 2007. This represented 2.2 percent of the global emissions of CO2 in 2012, down from 2.8 percent in 2007. However, the study’s “business as usual” scenarios forecast a growth in CO2 emissions for international maritime transport of between 50 percent to 250 percent in the period to 2050, depending on future economic and energy developments.