As we prepare for Posidonia 2018 it's interesting to review the two years that have elapsed since the shipping world gathered in Greece.
For Bureau Veritas it has been an exciting and challenging period. We have had tough market conditions to deal with. Our clients are facing the introduction of regulations for ballast water and emissions where there remains great uncertainty as to the best means of compliance - or beyond compliance, what is the best solution from a technical and a commercial perspective.
Globally, BV is the fifth largest class society by gross tonnage and the second by number of ships reflecting a diverse portfolio of ship types with deep expertise in the main sectors of bulk, tanker, LNG and container but also highly specialized sectors - such as FSRU and expedition class cruise ships.
At BV we know that different owners require different solutions. The needs and operational realities of Greek owners, historically focused on tanker and bulk carrier trades, will often be different from our clients in other markets.
Significant highlights in the last 24 months must include:
- the 15 ice class, podded Artic LNG carriers, all classed by BV, ordered for the Yamal project. Four of these ships are now in the water – and a total of five of the 15 owned by Greek operator Dynagas.
- Greek owners Aegean Bulk, Alpha Bulkers, Chartworld, Diana Shipping, Starbulk confidently ordering or taking delivery of a range of bulk carriers [more on the Greek market?]
- nine LNG fueled ultra large containerships ordered by CMA-CGM. At 22,000 teu these are the largest gas fueled ships ever ordered and with the largest installed capacity engines.
- the LNG fueled/hybrid propulsion expedition class cruise ship ordered by Ponant, to join six other expedition class cruise ordered by the same owner.
- 4 (+6) Ulstein designed expedition class cruise ships ordered by Sunstone being built now at CMHI in China.
- the development of BV’s digital end-to-end and integrated digital platform: both digitizing the existing class business and offering new tools and solutions encompassing asset integrity and inspections by drone. New capabilities, joining the existing digital functions, include e-certification, a fuel consumption and reporting tool to meet IMO and EU requirements as well, as an application to prepare shipowners and their crews for port state control inspections.
- BV’s development of a comprehensive approach to support shipowners in addressing maritime cyber risks. A new series of classification notations, guidelines and services enable owners to comply with regulatory requirements, safeguard their crews and protect their assets from both malfunction and malicious attack.
Currently Bureau Veritas offers two cyber notations:
The first, SW-Registry, focuses on software change management ensuring that installations of tested new software versions are properly tracked. A second notation, SYS-COM, addresses cyber security, and is directed at preventing malicious cyber attacks. SYS-COM is a voluntary notation covering the exchange of data between ship and shore. Bureau Veritas is now the only classification society to offer a notation for this specific risk, identified as a key cyber security threat to digital ship data and systems. The experience from projects with shipowners and providers of ship equipment and technology systems has been vital in developing and testing the Bureau Veritas approach. Recent announcements of projects with Bourbon and Kongsberg are examples.
In addition to the existing notations, and in order to further address the issues of cybersafety and cybersecurity with an holistic approach, Bureau Veritas is developing a new rule notation, soon to be introduced. This notation will apply the principles of the existing industry frameworks and guidelines like BIMCO and NIST, in the most appropriate form for shipping, and will include guidance and templates for performing the necessary risk assessment for the most common ship types. The notation will be provided in three levels, depending on company maturity, and will require measures for crew roles and training, systems protection, software compliance and change management, forensic capabilities, system hardening and others. The first level is scheduled to be issued in September 2018.
Paillette Palaiologou,VP and Chief Executive Hellenic & Black Sea Region, Bureau Veritas:
“As vessels become increasingly smart and reliant on digital systems, both cyber safety and security have become a major concern for shipowners seeking to protect their data, people, assets and operations. The approach developed by Bureau enables shipowners to address risks relating to digital onboard systems, including the major cybersecurity threat to communications between ship and shore.”
Additionally, BV’s Guidelines for Autonomous Shipping was released at the end of December 2017. This guidance note contains the basis for the risk assessment of ships including autonomous systems, the goal-based recommendations for a minimum level of functionality of autonomous and the guidelines for improving the reliability of essential systems within autonomous ships.
- Helping clients prepare for the 2020 global fuel cap. With a variety of options available, the best decision will depend on the type, age, operating area and charterer for most shipowners. Along with Verifuel our fuel testing business, we are well placed to advise owners as 2020 approaches. BV is a leader in LNG as fuel with a large share of the gas –fueled orderbook such as CMA-CGM’s breakthrough order. But LNG as a fuel is not for everyone and is certainly not considered feasible for existing ships, with a few exceptions. We expect that, while take-up of scrubbers will pick up, the vast majority of owners of tankers and bulk carriers will be looking to migrate to a LSFO. We will be able to assist in managing the transition. The big uncertainties are going to be availability and price.
It has been a challenging two years! But we look forward with excitement, as always, to Posidonia.
*Vice President, Regional Chief Executive Hellenic & Black Sea Region, Bureau Veritas