DNV warns of changing times ahead

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DNV has alerted to the major changes facing the future of the shipping industry, and with environmental preservation high on the agenda, a significant reduction in fuel consumption has been stressed along with new standards for ice navigation being drafted into force, as Arctic routes are forecasted to become a significant fixture in future trading routes.

Despite a major battle against carbon emissions, the rapidly shrinking ice plains of the Arctic will soon open up a whole ocean of possibility for shipping activity, but environmental concern is still a prominent issue and poses the shipping industry some major challenges for the future.

In a bid to underline its commitment to environmental safety and awareness, DNV has urged shipowners and operators to embrace a proactive approach in the reduction of fuel consumption both to save costs and ‘clean up’ the industry’s emissions levels, claiming that the industry has failed to implement proven methods and strategies under comprehensive energy management.

Dr Espen Cramer, head of DNV Maritime Solution, warned that “the industry’s piecemeal approach to reducing fuel consumption has slowed the efforts of shipowners to make a real difference.

“Most companies have not allocated internal resources to optimise fuel consumption, lack clear goals and ambitions, fail to communicate their efforts effectively, do not benchmark and report fuel reduction obtained, and many simply outsource the problem to ship managers rather than work with them,” he added.

With annual carbon dioxide emissions reaching a colossal 1.12 billion tonnes in 2007, according to research by the IMO, the industry makes up approximately 3.5% of total global carbon emissions, yet shipowners and operators are lacking the drive to make real changes in the fight against climate change.

DNV has insisted that the industry takes more responsibility for energy consumption, with the adoption of new techniques and practices to better accommodate for such global concerns. Supplementing this, it has stressed the initiatives the industry needs to employ in developing training and competence for sailing in Arctic ice-covered waters with its new Ice Navigation Standard.

“The standard will assist the maritime industry in training, recruiting and assessing officers who can safely pilot ships through ice. Maritime training centres can use it as a guide for developing course sin ice navigation, which DNV can in turn certify against the standard,” said DNV SeaSkill Project Engineer Steven Sawhill.

With Arctic regions posing major climatic hazards, navigational challenges and damage risks, the market opportunity opening up will require new skill methods and trained competence, and DNV has alerted to an imperative need for safety awareness to reduce the potential risk element created by previously unchartered waters.

“Since we foresee increasing shipping activity in the northernmost waters, we cannot continue to build on our traditional safety approach. There are additional hazards in the Arctic compared with any existing sea routes and the consequences of failure are greater. We have to be proactive, and we have to prepare for a safety regime that focuses on the technical as well as the human elements,” said Tor Svensen, COO of DNV.

As environmental concern is at the pinnacle of today’s shipping climate, DNV’s assertion to the burgeoning risks and imminent changes that face the future of shipping are a major step towards raising awareness over the concern currently spanning the industry on a global scale.