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SMW 2023: MTF gathers industry leaders to discuss challenges of maritime decarbonisation

03 May 2023

The Maritime Technologies Forum (MTF), a group of flag states and classification societies, on Tuesday (2 May) said it brought together industry stakeholders during Singapore Maritime Week (SMW 2023) to investigate the findings and implications of its latest report, ‘Operational Management to Accelerate Safe Maritime Decarbonisation’.

The event included a presentation of the report’s main findings by author Yildiz Williams of Lloyd’s Register and a panel comprising Christopher J Wiernicki, Chairman, President and CEO of ABS, Nick Brown, CEO of Lloyd’s Register, Caroline Yang, President of Singapore Shipping Association, Ninad Mhatre, Managing Director of Zeaborn Ship Management, John Lloyd, CEO of The Nautical Institute and was moderated by Pierre Sames, Strategic Development Director for DNV.

The report focuses on the suitability of existing maritime regulations to manage the challenges presented by the adoption of new fuel types across the maritime supply chain. These include the ISM Code, the STCW Convention and Maritime Labor Convention, assessing each for gaps and making recommendations and identifying urgent needs, the relevant actors and barriers to change.

It concludes that there are critical gaps related to safety management, crew training and safety culture onboard ships that need to be closed to enable a safe transition to a decarbonised shipping industry. Strengthening each of these elements will be vital to achieve safe operations with alternative fuels, it finds.

The panel discussed the global challenges around alternative fuel adoption as well as the specific knowledge and experience that seafarers, vessel operators, ship managers and regulators need to acquire in a short time span. The report underlines the need for a blend of regulation, industry guidelines, best practices and government support to close the gaps ahead of current and future decarbonisation deadlines.

“Class, as well as flag States are built for the intersection between technology, safety and regulations and when you look at where we are and the steepness of the curve ahead, the biggest risk is the unintended safety consequences of change,” said Chris Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and CEO. 

“We’re moving away from a static fuel environment towards a dynamic fuel environment and recognizing that safety is the mantra of this business, we must be prepared.”

“Seafarers are central to achieving the maritime industry’s decarbonisation ambitions and some 450,000 crew require extra training between now and 2030. However, training does not equate to competence. We have 700 LNG fuel-capable ships on the water today but few of them have been regularly using LNG, challenging trained crews’ familiarity around onboard equipment and bunkering procedures,” said Nick Brown, Lloyd’s Register CEO. 

“As an industry, we need ensure that when crew are trained, they can maintain competency in managing the multiple fuels and technologies they will encounter during this transition.”

Note: The ‘Operational Management to Accelerate Safe Maritime Decarbonisation’ report can be downloaded here

A series of earlier SMW 2023 reports covered by Manifold Times in 2022 are as follows:

Related: SMW 2023: DNV study shows 87% of seafarers need training on new bunker fuels
Related: SMW 2023: Discussion held on emerging trends of piracy and sea robbery in Asia
Related: SMW 2023: EOI for ammonia power generation and bunkering closing by 30 April
Related: SMW 2023: MPA and Wärtsilä ink MoU on maritime decarbonisation and digitalisation
Related: SMW 2023: Maritime IAP discusses multi-fuel transition at annual meeting
Related: SMW 2023: MPA, classification societies to collaborate on maritime decarbonisation
Related: SMW 2023: Methanol-based spill scenario organised for ICOPCE table-top exercise
Related: SMW 2023: DNV joins Standards working group on methanol bunkering
Related: SMW 2023: Joint opening ceremony held for MarineTech Conference and Sea Asia Exhibition
Related: SMW 2023: CSA welcomes new members to spur efforts on decarbonising Singapore’s coastal vessels
Related: SMW 2023: A*STAR sets up Centre for Maritime Digitalisation with flagship research on AI tech
Related: SMW 2023 brings together maritime community to take collective action to digitalise, decarbonise
Related: SMW 2023: Singapore, LA and Long Beach ink MoU to establish green and digital shipping corridor


Photo credit: Maritime Technologies Forum
Published: 3 May, 2023

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