ClassNK sets high standard for compliance

Oct 10, 2011, 3:22PM EST
Conforming to IMO conventions

 It is not just a question of complying with the new conventions but ClassNK is more concerned in ensuring that stakeholders especially those who patronize their services use it as an opportunity to take their business to a higher growth trajectory. Last week  ClassNK organized a Technical Seminar which saw ship owners, honchos of ship management and manning companies, maritime trainers, ship builders and others taking front seat to cash in on the valuable and informative presentations that were considered a class apart. Four crucial topics were taken up to help participants to reposition their operations for better results.

So far initiatives by the maritime administration, trade associations and others who held seminars were to merely create awareness about the conventions that are to come into force including Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC), Maritime Labor Convention (MLC), etc. But ClassNK has taken a responsible approach which is that of a mentor, a friend and guide thus providing not only exhaustive details about these conventions but presented guidelines, various inputs, implications of the various rules governing the conventions, the best way forward, etc., and the course of action shipowners, ship managers and manning companies need to take to their best advantage.

The Seminar also provided a treasure chest of information including the list of requirements, printed material that serves as a ready-reckoner for easy reference, and stepwise diagrams and instruction manuals.

Explaining the “Arrangements for enforcing the Maritime Labor Convention, 2006’ Ajay Kumar ClassNK’s Principal Surveyor, Marine Management Systems Auditor explained that the MLC will factor in high quality in shipping and introduce the principles of substantial equivalency.  Besides, MLC is set to create a win-win situation by ensuring a fair competition under the global standard. It assures a marked improvement in the working conditions and safe navigation. As a result sub-standard ships will get eliminated as they face port state control (PSC) and flag state inspection.

In other words MLC establishes the seafarers their rights and provides greater emphasis to their role in maintaining the safety of the ship in particular and in general the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.

Highlighting the “ClassNK activities for the Ballast Water Management Convention” S. Sampat, Manager, outlined the requirements under this convention.  He explained lucidly the different systems available for the treatment of ballast water and provided their pros and cons. He discussed at lengths the price factor for meeting various expenses including maintenance, running cost, inputs, etc. He also advised the best choice when it comes to selecting an appropriate system for a particular type of vessel.

Reduction of Green House Gases (GHG) emission through energy efficiency system is possible through technical measures with new ships by way of energy efficiency design index (EEDI). ClassNK has determined energy improvement through technical measures. developing hardware efficiency or creating operational measure for both new and existing ships or economizing through operational measures are some method which were admirably explained by N. Hara of Machinery Dept of NK Head Office in his topic “Counter Measures for Green House Gas Emissions”.

The other alternative is by way of technical measures for improving hardware efficiency. This includes hull form and propeller improvement, hull appendages for energy saving, waste heat recovery and utilization of renewable energy. Another option available is by prudent operational measures, such as speed management, weather routing, maintenance of hull and engine, et al. ClassNK has participated in several R & D projects for GHG reduction in Japan and jointly with other players with regards hybrid turbo charger, renewable energy.

In keeping with the philosophy to ensure safety of life and property at sea, and the prevention of pollution of the marine environment ClassNK invited their expert from Japan to make a presentation on the guidelines for “Floating offshore facilities for liquefied natural and petroleum gas production, storage and offloading (FLNG) as well as the Safe Carriage of Nickel Ore.”

LNG trade is projected to expand between regions as imports into Asia and Europe are on the way up. The reduction in liquefaction costs was a key driver of the LNG boom in early 2000s. However, LNG plants cost has increased in the last few years and cost overrun and delays are commonly experienced for conventional onshore LNG projects. FLNG project is an important development for the LNG industry as it reduces both the project costs and environmental footprints. FLNG does not require pipeline system for transporting products to shore thus making the development of offshore gas fields which are relatively small and remote more economically feasible.  

While transporting nickel ore there is a danger of excessive moisture that could lead to liquefaction of the ore. This can cause loss of stability and ships could list or capsize. Three ships are known to have capsized and sank at the end of 2010 these included MV Jian Fu Star, MV Nasco Diamond and MV Hong Wel.  Transport iron ore fines also present a similar danger to the vessel as a result of liquefaction.


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