DV’s Skaret outlines the challenges ahead

Aug 31 2013


With the merger of DV and GL coming ever closer since Brussels gave it the all clear last month, Tanker Operator spoke with DV’s new tanker segment director – Håkon Skaret – about the tasks ahead.

Skaret has taken over the role vacated by Jan Koren who is to retire from the class society. He explained that the tanker competence segment will remain in Hovik following the merger, as despite DNV’s maritime division moving to Hamburg, the various competence sectors will remain in their respective locations.

Skaret said that the tanker industry had been through some challenging years where the cocktail of poor markets, rocketing fuel prices and a plethora of regulatory requirements has created a challenging situation for most tanker operators.

He said that he believed, as do many others, that the tanker business will see some significant changes in the years ahead and that DNV can add significant value to the industry, eg;

1) Supporting customers to reduce opex by improved energy efficiency (design, retrofit and operation).

2) Helping customers to comply with industry expectations.

3) Share DNV’s view on the future and use its technical competence to build the next generation tankers (regulatory compliance and best practice).

For tanker operators, charterers’ requirements are the ’ticket to trade’ and DNV is assisting its customers to meet these expectations, which go beyond scope of class and statutory requirements.

“Two recent examples where we have looked into the future is the Shipping 2020 scenario analysis and the Triality concept study for a VLCC for the future.

“Through such concept studies, we want to inspire the industry to look at innovation opportunities and for the Triality case, two of the key elements addressed LNG as an alternative fuel and energy efficiency.

“Both topics are highly relevant for the maritime industry and DNV has taken a lead role in exploring these possibilities,” he explained.

DNV has an ambition to use its competence and investments in research and innovation into shaping the future of the maritime industry and Skaret said that he will continue the class society’s focus on this in the tanker segment.

Skaret confirmed that the head office for Maritime within the DNV-GL group will be located in Hamburg, but the technical competence groups will not be relocated. The average customer will not notice any difference if the DNV-GL head office is sited in Hamburg, or Oslo.

“For the Tanker segment, DNV has a very strong position and we want to maintain and further strengthen this,” he said.“However, GL has a strong presence in small gas carriers, in which DNV has had a smaller market share and GL’s approach to this segment of course will be further leveraged in the new DNV-GL.

“Through the integration process of the merger it is our goal that the new DNV-GL is built on the strengths of DNV and GL today,” he stressed.

 

Differences

As for the issues going forward, the tanker segment in DNV includes a wide range of vessel types: tankers, chemical carriers, LPG and LNG carriers and there are some differences between these segments.

But he said that if he looked at the commonalities of the challenges in this business, he would point at the following;

a) Zero accidents: Avoid major accidents – loss of life – pollution.

b) Competent crew: Access to qualified competent crew and shore staff.

c) Increasing complexity: The increasing complexity for shipboard personnel in terms of procedures, documentation, and more complex systems. This is a major challenge for the average crew member.

d) Different inspection regimes: The lack of co-operation between the different inspection regimes. Cargo owners vetting, terminal inspectors, port state, flag state and class all perform to a large extent overlapping inspections, surveys and audits. The inspection burden has become a challenge during port operations and crew fatigue is an issue.

Turning to EEDI, this was introduced to reduce CO2 emissions from shipping and the stepwise implementation of the EEDI requirements is set with a rather ambitious timetable 10/20/30% improvements by 2015, 2020, and 2025, respectively, Skaret explained.

This implies that ship designs delivered today will in 10 years’ time compete in the market with ships that are required to have a 30% lower EEDI value and the question is, if they will be able to compete if they are built to EEDI compliance level.

However, there are different ways to achieve an EEDI reduction and it is essential to not fall into the trap of going for an undersized engine that may give beneficial EEDI values but fail to have sufficient sea margin, he warned.

“DNV is supporting tanker owners to identify areas, which could lead to significant EEDI improvements, carrying out preliminary EEDI verifications at design and EEDI verifications at sea trials,” he said.

Skaret then explained DNV’s main thrust in the drive for further tanker operational efficiency. He thought that the two key issues for DNV for increased efficiencies were the total transportation chain efficiency and energy efficiency.

“It is cargoes that move ships, and not ships that move cargoes. Taking a holistic view, a tanker constitutes a part of the total transportation chain. In order to achieve the best possible ship design, the entire transport system must be examined under different business conditions.

“Studies indicate that more than half the energy saving potential is associated with the transport system, ie the logistics, the voyage execution and the design of the transport system itself. The transport system, or logistics system, for tankers typically include the fleet of ships used for transportation and the terminals used at both ends.

“This is an area we believe there is potential for further improvements,” he said.

 

Efficiency

As for energy efficiency, DNV has through numerous projects for different ship types revealed that there is significant fuel saving potentials by building more efficient hull lines, compared to existing designs.

Hull line optimisation should be based on a selected matrix of combinations of drafts, trims and speeds, which needs to be defined by the owner.

This is used as input to calculate the optimum hull lines reflecting this picture and shape the bow – lines and aft ship, accordingly. The beauty of this is that if you do this right – there is no additional costs, or maintenance requirements to harvest from this investment – just a continuous cost reduction throughout the lifetime of the ship.

 

DNV’s new tanker man Håkon Skaret.

 

“To be successful we need to be involved at an early stage and have a close co-operation with the yard/designer,” he stressed.

Another interesting opportunity lies in the fact that most ships built today are shaped to deliver optimum performance at full speed/full draft while for most ship types this is not a very frequent trading condition.

There are of course numerous other initiatives with different appendences in the aft ship, energy efficient main engine and related propulsion system and the different energy consumers on board.

Further there are retrofit opportunities, however, some owners are sceptical to invest claiming that they will pay the bill while the charter is gaining the entire benefit, depending on the charter agreement. This could be overcome however, by shared benefit agreements between owner and charterer, Skaret said.

He explained that the last remark was related to the energy efficiency for existing ships, as this is an area where best operating practices have shown significant improvement potentials. Skaret said that many of the claims made by ECO tanker builders and designers over potential fuel savings are true.

“There is a lot of potential, even though there has become some kind of hype around the ECO tankers. As discussed above, we are fully convinced that there are significant potentials for improving the energy efficiency of ships and that the industry’s focus on this has come to stay.

“If we look at another industry where the fuel cost is business critical, eg the airline industry, there are a lot of commonalities with maritime shipping. I believe there are lessons to be learnt also for the shipping industry and this decade will experience a step change and that the winners will be the ones that face the reality and develop energy efficiency strategies to manoeuvre forward.

“We also believe it is good to keep in mind that the market will eventually turn again – that slow steaming may not be favourable in the years ahead and that you, as a shipowner or operator, wants a ship that is able to perform at a wider range of speeds and being built for this flexibility.

“Therefore, we believe that focus on fuel efficiency in shipping has come to stay. We further encourage our customers to invite us for a dialogue at an early stage in the newbuilding process to share the extensive competence we have gained in this field,” Skaret said.

 

Strong position

He explained that DNV has always had a strong position in the tanker segment and some 40% of the class society’s fleet (in gt) are tankers. Looking at the order book for tanker for oil and chemical and chemical tankers above 30,000 dwt, DNV has a market share of 35%.

DNV is determined to continue down the path of the conceptual designs, such as Triality, he said. “DNV is committed to teamwork an innovation. We believe that these are times when innovation has a good breeding ground and we would like to take a part in shaping the future of the tanker industry.

“We will never design ships – that’s not our business – but we will continue to spend our resources together with the industry to come up with bold ideas for the future. Then. we will also be part in implementing these ideas into new innovative solutions to solve the next generation transportation needs,” Skaret said.

He continued; “DNV’s vision is ’global impact for safe and sustainable future‘and as such we support initiatives that will reduce negative impact on the environment from the shipping industry.

“That said, DNV is not making any regulatory requirements, but I do believe that DNV has an important role to fill in giving technical input to the regulators to ensure that there will be a balance between the commercial impact on the industry and the effect on the environment.

“However, our most important task is probably to support the owners to know the implications of these new requirements and help them make the best possible choice for their fleet. Simple quotes of the rule text are not really valuable support as we need to explain implications and help our customers to find good solutions and this is what we focus on.

“Further, DNV is involved in certification of equipment towards applicable standards. DNV was of the front runners that were granted permission from US Coast Guard to certify ballast water treatment systems on their behalf. We have also been involved with helping customers find the optimal solution for their fuel strategy based on their trading patterns in ECA/SECA and different fuel price scenarios.

“We have already extensive experience with LNG as fuel as one of the options to meet the coming SOx emission requirements. It’s a bold move to go for LNG as fuel and - we have developed a service where we help our customers to identify the technical feasibility with associated costs and some cost benefit models for the different fuel options switch, scrubber, or LNG fuel, with payback time based on different cost models of MDO, HFO and LNG.

“DNV has also taken a lead in developing the new ISO standards for LNG bunkering operations (ship-to-shore interface). We have also been proactive in shaping our rules for other alternative fuels,” he explained.

DNV also has around 70% of the shuttle tanker fleet in class and has been active in the development of shuttle tankers. The society has gained considerable insight into and experience of construction, equipment and operations in this segment. “Few, if any, know more about shuttle tankers than we do. There is a need to renew the fleet and DNV is working with the main players on the next generation shuttle tankers”, Skaret said.

The shuttle tanker business needs to be adjusted to the environment that the tankers are to operate in. For example, for Brazilian operations, the challenges are different from the North Sea operations – and the ships needs to be adjusted accordingly.

But for both operations, Dynpos Operations plays an important role and DNV has taken an active role in setting up competence standards for crew training, Skaret said.

As for future expansion plans, DNV has built up a significant maritime presence in Singapore, China, Brazil and in other areas, so it is not a question of building up new competence centres, Skaret said.

However, after the merger with GL, this network will become both broader and more competent. “For existing ships, we have already established a technical support centre in Singapore for customers in the Asian region and we have approval units both in Pusan and Shanghai.

“It’s essential to have the decision power close to the customers and the philosophy in DNV is on having competent and empowered surveyors who can take decisions locally.

We also have a network of Chief Surveyors for support when there are particularly difficult borderline decisions to be made,” he concluded.



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