Chinese shipyard new orders slump

China’s shipyards saw orders fall by 68.3% to 15.1 million dwt between January and August compared with the same period of 2014, the China National Association of Shipbuilding Industry (CANSI) said.
The orderbook fell 12.1% year-on-year (y/y) to 135.1 million dwt at the end of August, or down 9.5%

NauticAWT plunges into loss

Singapore-listed offshore engineering company NauticAWT suffered a loss of USD2.3 million for the first half of 2015, as compared with a profit of USD1.7 million recorded a year ago.
The company recorded loss despite a revenue increase of USD13.9 million, up 56.7% year on year, dragged down by

New IACS Chairman Sets His Agenda

By MarEx 2015-09-15 01:06:04

ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J Wiernicki has set out his priorities as incoming International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) chairman, emphasizing the unique role the organization plays in promoting global safety and security.

The IACS strategic plan has been designed to address both the current and future needs of the shipping industry by focusing on three key areas: structural, machinery and cyber system integrity.

“By focusing on these three legs of the safety stool, I believe we can build on IACS’ recent achievements and set out an agenda that addresses existing and emerging challenges,” says Wiernicki. “My priorities for 2015-2016 strike a balance between the completion of ongoing projects and the need to look forward and formulate the next generation of IACS guidelines, unified and procedural requirements.”

In the coming year, Wiernicki’s focus areas also include ensuring a smooth completion of the initial round of audits for the IMO Goal-Based Standards process.

He will also advance the creation of a cyber-system safety framework that addresses control systems, software quality assurance, data integrity and cyber security enhancing the initiative that was commenced in 2014.

Wiernicki will further seek to ensure that the IACS Quality System Certification Scheme (QSCS) remains the gold standard for classification society performance.

Wiernicki, who assumed the role of IACS Chairman at the end of the 71st session of the IACS Council in Paris on July 2, 2015, singled out the importance of IACS in supporting the industry at a time when more stringent regulatory requirements are being formulated and implemented.

“IACS’ relationships, extensive technical knowledge, experience and independence place it in a unique position to work with regulators and industry, he says. “IACS will continue to reach out and strengthen relationships with all parties, continuing to demonstrate that its commitment to safety, quality and environmental protection are more important than ever.”

(Houston) Christopher J. Wiernicki, the Chairman, President and CEO of ABS, a leading provider of maritime shipping and offshore classification services, was elected Chairman of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) on July 2, 2015.

Wiernicki was preceded in the position by Philippe Donche-Gay, Executive Vice President and head of Marine & Offshore at Bureau Veritas. Like his predecessor, Wiernicki will lead IACS for one year.


Remote-Controlled Ferries by 2020?

By MarEx 2015-09-14 23:22:44

The first remote-controlled ferry demonstrator could hit the water within four to five years thanks to a new wave of research into operational efficiency based on ship intelligence solutions.

The prediction was made by Oskar Levander, VP for innovation, engineering and technology at Rolls-Royce Marine in Finland ahead of next month’s 40th annual Interferry conference in Copenhagen, where technical innovations will be a central theme of the trade association’s agenda.

Levander will suggest that the maritime industry is at the dawn of an era in which ship intelligence is one of the main technology trends – driving advances such as increased automation, smart controls, robotics, optimisation/decision support tools, equipment/system health management and predictive maintenance schemes.

He believes that ship intelligence will also drive the development of remote control and autonomous solutions, stressing: “Today there is a lot of R&D focus on unmanned airplanes and driverless land-based vehicles and society is becoming more prepared to accept these game-changing solutions. It is only a question of time as to when shipping will follow the same path.”

According to Levander, the first unmanned commercial ships are likely be locally operated vessels since single flag states can permit their operation before international regulations are in place. In his view, ferries would be a prime candidate for early adoption because they operate within a confined area and in addition there is a clear desire to address crew costs.

He adds that studies indicate most essential technology building blocks are already in place, but practical marine solutions will still require some development efforts.

Rolls-Royce is leading a new €6.6 million ($7.3 million) project that could pave the way for autonomous ships. The Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative will produce the specification and preliminary designs for the next generation of advanced ship solutions.

The project is funded by Tekes (Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation) and will bring together universities, ship designers, equipment manufacturers and classification societies.

The project will run until the end of 2017 and will look at research carried out to date before exploring the business case for autonomous applications, the safety and security implications of designing and operating remotely operated ships, the legal and regulatory implications and the existence and readiness of a supplier network able to deliver commercially applicable products in the short to medium term.

The technological work stream, which will be led by Rolls-Royce, will encompass the implications of remote control and autonomy of ships for propulsion, deck machinery and automation and control, using, where possible, established technology for rapid commercialization.


Explosion Kills Four at Shipbreaking Yard

By MarEx 2015-09-14 21:10:11

The NGO Shipbreaking Platform has called for urgent action to stop dangerous working conditions after four workers died following a gas cylinder explosion in a shipbreaking yard in Chittagong, Bangladesh. The condition of four more workers is still critical, after suffering severe burn injuries in the blast.

The accident happened on September 5 at the Shital Ship Breaking yard, established in 2011.

According to the yard management, the eight workers were hit by the cylinder blast when they were getting ready for work, reported local media.

Three of the workers received only basic care and were sent back home. Later they were admitted to the Chittagong Medical College Hospital when their condition had deteriorated. Five others were already being treated at the hospital; however, Khokon, Moksedul, Alamin and Shajahan succumbed to their injuries and died in hospital. Today, Nadim, Pasha, Abdur Rouf and Mannan are still fighting for their lives, reports the NGO.

“This terrible accident and the deaths of the workers are painful reminders of the dangerous working conditions that are prevalent at the shipbreaking yards of Bangladesh,” said Muhammed Ali Shahin, coordinator of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform in Bangladesh. “Continued lack of proper procedures, adequate infrastructure and equipment and sufficient training are the root causes for such deadly accidents. We demand that all yard owners and the relevant authorities push for drastic change and ensure a safe and sound working environment in the yards. The yard management must be held responsible.”

It was only after local NGOs, trade union affiliates and member organisations of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, contacted the Bangladesh Shipbreakers Association (BSBA) that the workers received better treatment in the hospital. The Ship Breaking Workers Trade Union Forum and Platform member organization BILS demanded proper care and treatment and reminded the yard owners about their obligation to provide compensation to the victims and their families. On September 10, after three of the injured workers had already died in the hospital, activists and citizens formed a human chain in Chittagong to protest against the lack of response from the yard owners.

“It is irresponsible of shipowners to continue to ignore what is happening in Bangladesh and to perpetuate a situation of exploitation and unsafe working conditions by choosing these yards to maximize their profits instead of demanding responsible ship recycling yards,” said Patrizia Heidegger, Executive Director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.

The Daily Star, the leading English-speaking newspaper in Bangladesh, commented that “it is unacceptable that an industry as huge and risk-prone as shipbreaking should still be in such a primitive state that allows these horrible accidents to occur. The apathy and negligence demonstrated by employers violate basic labor laws that make it mandatory for workplaces to maintain minimum safety standards.”

According to information gathered by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform and its member organizations, in 2015 alone 12 shipbreaking workers have died on the job, and 17 more were severely injured. Last year, 17 shipbreaking workers died in Bangladesh, and at least 37 were injured.


E.U. Wants CO2 Targets

By Wendy Laursen 2015-09-14 20:21:39

The heads of seven of the eight political groups of the European Parliament’s environment committee have written to the environment ministers of the 28 E.U. countries urging them to include international shipping and aviation in COP21’s global climate deal.

The ministers will be meeting on September 18 to finalize the E.U. position for COP21 – the U.N.’s meeting on climate change scheduled for Paris in December.

The heads of the political groups on the Environment Committee said: “To promote increased climate ambition from ICAO and IMO, like all the other sectors of the global economy, aviation and international shipping require an emissions reduction target. There is no reasonable excuse to continue exempting these two economy sectors from the global policy framework. Aviation and shipping need to contribute in the same way that is required of all UNFCCC Parties, large and small.”

The European Parliament called last week for the establishment of an E.U. 2030 emissions reduction target for shipping and measures for the reduction of ships’ speed (slow steaming).

Sotiris Raptis, clean shipping officer at sustainable transport group Transport & Environment, commented: “It’s simply fair to demand from two economic sectors with emissions the size of Germany and South Korea to reduce CO2 emissions in line with keeping the global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius. The IMO and ICAO have been procrastinating so far. The time for action has come.”

The IMO’s development of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) are the first-ever international agreements on CO2 emissions in any sector. However, a number of countries still believe that this is insufficient if shipping is going to be able to contribute to actual reductions in CO2 emissions and the 2°C goal of the international climate negotiations.

Several mechanisms to enhance ships’ operational efficiency have therefore been proposed. DNV GL explains: “These follow a three-stage approach; data collection, the development and testing of an efficiency calculation methodology and the eventual roll-out of the mechanism as a mandatory performance standard. Timelines have not been stipulated, only that each stage will take a number of years.

“The proposals are strongly opposed by a number of parties who believe that developing operational efficiency regulations for ships is neither feasible nor appropriate. Presently, IMO is therefore limited to developing a framework for monitoring and reporting ship fuel consumption data only.”

The IMO’s Green House Gas Study, published in 2014, found that international shipping had reduced its total CO2 emissions by more than 10 percent between 2007 and 2012, despite an increase in maritime trade.

However, maritime CO2 emissions are projected to increase significantly in the coming decades. Depending on future economic and energy developments, study scenarios project an increase of 50 to 250 percent in the period to 2050.

Emissions projections demonstrate that improvements in efficiency are important in mitigating emissions increase. However, even modelled improvements with the greatest energy savings could not yield a downward trend. Compared to regulatory or market-driven improvements in efficiency, changes in the fuel mix have a limited impact on GHG emissions, assuming that fossil fuels remain dominant.