Hellenic American Maritime Forum, Day 2: Addressing industry’s key issues to stay ahead of compliance
The second day of the inaugural Hellenic American Maritime Forum was successfully concluded on Thursday 30rd of May, at Megaron Athens, The Banqueting Hall, attracting in total 480 delegates. The aim of this two-day event, for which SAFETY4SEA and SHIPPINGInsight collaborated, was to bring together the Hellenic American Maritime Stakeholders to discuss, network and exchange views and ideas towards a safe, smart, green, optimized, innovative and sustainable shipping industry.
The event was organized by SAFETY4SEA and SHIPPINGInsight having HudsonAnalytix as Headline Partner. Other partners were: ABS, American Club, American Hellenic Hull, Arcadia Shipmanagement Co. Ltd., Bureau Veritas, Cayman Islands Shipping Registry, Dorian LPG, Ecochlor, Future Care, Latsco Marine Management Inc., MacGregor, Marshall Islands Registry, OceanManager, Palau International Ship Registry, PwC, RISK4SEA, SAFETY4SEA Academy, Saracakis Group, SICK AG, SQE MARINE, Subsea Global Solutions LLC, Viswa Group, Volvo Cars and WLPGA (World LPG Association).
Also, the event was supported by: American- Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, A.M.M.I.TE.C, Chios Marine Club, IBIA, INTERCARGO, International Windship Association (IWSA), SNAME, The Greek Section of SNAME, WISTA Hellas, CYMEPA, Green Award Foundation, HELMEPA, NAMEPA, Π.Ε.Π.Ε.Ν, International Propellers Club and Young Shipping Professionals (YSP).
The second day of the event placed a spotlight on key safety, environmental and smart shipping challenges that need to be considered in order maritime industry to stay sustainable and competitive. Discussions on compliance issues were heard while speakers also provided latest updates with respect to BWMC, Sulphur cap, scrubber uptake and fuel options. On the safety front, the last panel talked about the most common safety failures that continue to make their appearance onboard, highlighting that a cultural change is essential. Also a panel on smart shipping focused on latest disruptive technologies that have affected maritime industry, noting that cyber security issues should not be disregarded.
Panel #1: Environmental Challenges
Dr. John Kokarakis, Chairman, Greek Section, SNAME, talked about the environmental challenges that the shipping industry is facing today. Mr. Kokarakis said that times are critical for shipping because suddenly the attention is focused on ships and what they discharge to the environment. He explained that decarbonisation will be achieved with the use of new technological pathways, while a modest speed reduction will also lead to emissions reduction. As for zero-emissions vessels, Mr. Kokarakis does not believe they will be a reality by 2050, but we will have reduced emissions ships.
Mr. Tom Perlich, Founder and President, Ecochlor Inc shared his opinion on Ballast Water Management. He noted that regulation for ballast water has been a long process, as there was significant amount of resistance from shipowners. However, the regulations have been enacted and shipowners should accept and fully comply with them. He also called owners to choose wisely, and pick a technology that is flexible and easy to apply, adding that training of the crew and office staff will benefit the relationship of shipowners with other actors.
Mr. Sotiris Raptis, Senior Policy Advisor for Environment and Safety, EcoPorts Coordinator, ESPO, talked about the environmental priorities of European ports. He highlighted that we are going to need electricity as it can be one solution for decarbonisation, at least for short sea shipping. Regarding ports, Mr. Raptis mentioned that the main challenge is to ensure the infrastructure is available for shipping, and that technical challenges are properly addressed. However, he stated that EU ports will need 48 billion euros for the next 10 years, to resume their efficient operations.
Mrs. Helena Athoussaki, Head of Sustainability and Maritime, PwC, addressed the matter of green investing. She said that as more investors have questions about how decarbonisation is going to affect them, banks are starting to invest more and more in green shipping. She added that investment portfolios should now include Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) parametres, while a wider financing towards shipping industry can be expected.
Panel #2: IMO 2020 and beyond
Dr. Khorshed Alam, COO, Viswa Group, provided an outline of sulphur 2020 options and alternatives. Dr. Alam supported that ships should continue using HSFO, but with the use of scrubbers. He based this opinion on the fact that with this solution, ships’ systems will remain undisturbed, while scrubber technology has improved and most problems have been eliminated. Regarding alternatives fuels, Mr. Alam stated that stability and compatibility problems are expected.
Mr. Panos Kourkountis, Technical Director, Sea Traders SA, described the measures towards achieving a decarbonized future. He stated that operators have three options to comply with the 2020 sulphur cap: using compliant fuels, the use of scrubbers and not operating scrubber, receiving a flag dispensation. Mr. Kourkountis also talked about speed reduction, saying that speed must not be left unregulated. What is more, slow steaming has significant environmental benefits, but a combination of measures is required to achieve the targets set.
Mr. Christopher Fee, General Manager, Environment and Sustainability, Oldendorff Carriers, talked about the benefits of scrubbers. According to Mr. Fee, vessels running on HSFO in combination with a scrubber, generate cleaner emissions than VLSFOs and MGO. Regarding the additional sulphur amount that is discharged on the oceans by scrubbers, Mr. Fee said that it is negligible. As far as ports are concerned, Christopher Fee said that many of them ban the discharge of scrubbers water due to political reasons, while decision makers in those ports have not been provided with the necessary information.
Mr. Anastasios Tsogkas, Sales Representative, SICK, talked about the Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems (CEMS). Mr. Tsogkas explained why it is important to measure emissions aboard adding that NOx measurements need to be not only about concentration but also mass flow. Another important fact is that these analyzers can be monitored remotely. Finally, Mr. Tsogkas said that there are type approvals pending for measuring systems, while some statutory rules and guidelines have to be fulfilled.
Panel #3: Exploring Future Fuel options
Mr. Antonis Trakakis, Chief Technology Officer, FORWARD SHIPS, talked about LNG as a fuel. Namely, Mr. Trakakis stated that LNG provides the safest path towards a carbonless future, and there is no reason for the delay of its uptake. What is more, regarding hydrogen, Mr. Trakakis believes that its uptake is obstructed by the lack of safe infrastructure and due to its small energy density, which requires big tanks. Finally, the industry should also consider negative emissions, in the sense of carbon capturing.
Mr. Nikos Xydas, Technical Manager, WLPGA, presented LPG as the new marine alternative fuel. He said that LPG is one of the best solutions to address environmental challenges, while there is also enough LPG in the world to satisfy the fueling needs. In addition, Mr. Xydas mentioned that currently LPG is simpler than LNG, as its cost is less and the necessary infrastructure is everywhere. Regarding the environmental challenges, Patience, Perseverance, and Passion, are the three Ps to address them.
Mr. Dimitrios V. Lyridis, Associate Professor, NTUA, spoke about shipping electrification. He explained that electrification presents many benefits and challenges for the industry. Among the benefits is that, for the time being, electrification can really help small ships in short distances. However, there are some challenges as well. According to Mr. Lyridis, there are technical considerations that still need to be resolved for electrification, such as training, lack of policies and problems with the logistics.
Panel #4: Smart Shipping
Mr. Kevin Humphreys, General Manager, Merchant & Gas Carrier Segment Sales, Wartsila, talked about how smart ships can contribute towards IMO 2030/2050 compliance. Mr. Humphreys said that new technological advancements have increased ships’ efficiency. This in turn has led to emissions and noise reductions. Regarding the future, he expects new business models to occur, changing the supply chain, as transparency will increase as well. Finally, Mr. Humphreys does not expect fully autonomous ships, but enhanced autonomous functioning on board.
Mr. Ulf Siwe, Communication Officer, STM Project, referred briefly to STM Validation project, explaining what benefits provide to European ports; first and foremost, the project facilitates ports in their pathway toward becoming smarter through collaboration. In this context, Mr. Siwe said that although ports used to be in fierce competition, nowadays things have changed. Under STM, all European ports exchange information and share data and they are truly connected. IMO also supports this project which provides better planning and service to customers. Concluding his speech, Mr. Siwe urged industry to promote collaboration and info sharing with partners in order to view radical changes in the maritime industry, just as the STM Validation project has done so far.
Mr. Rajan Vasudevan, CEO, OceanManager provided an overview of smart shipping and augmented intelligence. He highlighted that smart shipping can enhance safety in the industry. Last year, 20,000 casualties took place, which, according to Mr. Vasudevan, could have been avoided with the use of AI. Namely, AI monitors the ship’s various characteristics, in order to provide a real-time safety analysis. These will lead to predictive analytics and conclude to a call to action if necessary, Mr. Vasudevan explained.
Mr. Chronis Kapalidis, Cyber Expert, HudsonAnalytix, stated that smart shipping must be adopted in order for the industry to increase effectiveness, trustworthiness, safety and security. Talking about cyber security, Mr. Kapalidis said that it is the first non-land threat worldwide. In order for the industry to improve in this segment, more investment is needed. However, he added that cyber security is not only IT’s responsibility. Everyone is responsible, from the very top to the very last person in a company.
Panel #5: Safety Challenges
Mrs. Elina Souli, Regional Business Development Director, V.P. – FD&D Manager, The American P&I Club, talked about the cost and exposure to P&I incidents, which has increased substantially. She highlighted that insurer concerns have been impelled by major casualties over recent years, as well as international and local regulation and limitation regimes. Responding to the ever changing risk landscape, insures have used trading surcharges; differential reinsurance rating; and limits placed on quantum of claims recoverability. However, she wondered whether the shipping industry has the capability to prevent disasters.
Capt. Panagiotis Nikiteas, HSQE Manager / DPA / CSO, Maran Dry, talked about the Bulker Management Self-Assessment (BMSA). He noted that BMSA ensures that weaknesses can be detected, however there are few technicalities that must be addressed. Nevertheless, he believes that if BMSA runs properly it will be here to stay. What is more, Capt. Nikiteas explained that charterers need reassurance, and as many of the industry’s tools have failed, BMSA can play a key role.
Capt. Apostolos Skempes, Training Manager, Arcadia Shipmanagement Co. Ltd., outlined ways to prevent offensive or hurtful behavior into the maritime workplace. As he stated, if unwanted behavior is left unchallenged it could lead to stress, lack of motivation, and reduced work performance. For this reason, he urged the industry to take measures and address even minor cases. In this attempt, the one who is making a complaint must not be victimized, and every report should be thoroughly investigated.
Mrs. Panagiota Chrysanthi, DDPA/EMR, Andriaki Shipping Co. Ltd, provided her opinion on safety challenges in the shipping industry, and the crucial role that human factor plays. As noted, from 2012-2016, 75% accidents were due to human error. She also added that the industry has not done enough to prevent human errors. However, she highlighted that it is not only the crew on board that makes mistakes, but also the staff on land can play a significant role in a casualty. For this reason, enhanced safety culture is necessary.
Mrs. Maria Christopoulou, Quality & Training Manager, Neda Maritime Agency Co. Ltd. talked about what has changed in shipping’s safety culture over the years. As she explained, incidents continue to happen. In order to limit them, a company’s plans should address the crew performance and how shore staff can affect crew on board. Ms. Christopoulou added that in order to achieve such a change, shipping has to adopt a practical method based on a SWOT analysis, assessing strengths and weaknesses, and turning them into opportunities.
All sessions ended with a round table discussion in which the audience exchanged ideas with high level experts of international repute on recent developments. Finally, Apo Belokas and Carleen Lyden Walker, on behalf of organizers, thanked the delegates for their participation, the partners and supporters for their support, the speakers/panellists for their excellent presentations and though provoking discussions and also the organizing team of the event for their contribution towards forum objectives.
See also what happened during the Hellenic American Maritime Forum, Day 1