Strategies for prospering in the decade of change led discussion at ABS Middle East Regional Committee Meeting


The impact of market-based measures and the cost of compliance in shipping’s dynamic regulatory environment, along with the potential to improve carbon intensity through energy efficiency technologies were highlighted at the annual ABS Middle East Regional Committee Meeting.

Maritime leaders from across the region heard ABS Chairman and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki describe how the energy transition and the need for energy security is combining with technology, data and alternative fuels to create a new, multi-dimensional industry.

He outlined how ABS is built to serve this emerging maritime industry with guidance on advanced vessel designs, fuels and infrastructure, digitalization and decarbonization strategies.

“Essentially, the decarbonization of shipping can be split into three categories: Alternative fuels and energy sources, technology improvements and operational measures to increase efficiency. The committee looked at each of these areas from a range of specialist angles offering deep insight on what is in the pipeline for our industry, strategies for prospering in the decade of change ahead of us and how we ensure safety will remain the ultimate boundary condition,” said Wiernicki. “We also explored how people will be the heroes of the transition and how ABS is using advanced simulation technologies to ensure they have the skills to succeed.”

ABS is the leading classification society for offshore projects in the Middle East and provides the largest engineering presence among class societies in the region to support day-to-day operations in real time.

Wiernicki also updated the members on ABS’ impressive fleet safety performance which underscores its focus on safety and its mission. The fleet grew to 289 million gross tons and secured the number one position in global orderbook share.

Captain Abdulkareem Al Masabi, CEO, ADNOC Logistics & Services, and Chairman of the ABS Middle East Regional Committee, said: “Amidst the ever-changing landscape of our maritime industry, the ABS Middle East Regional Committee Meeting serves as a vital platform for dialogue and cooperation. It brings key stakeholders together to discuss ways to tackle the complex challenges of environmental sustainability and operational excellence. The challenge to produce and transport energy and goods while we transition to net zero is immense. Solutions will require collaboration from all stakeholders and razor-sharp focus on technological innovation, so that we can forge a path towards a resilient and future-ready maritime sector.”

Employee profiles were another significant highlight at the annual meeting. ABS welcomed the first female surveyors and engineers to its teams in the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. ABS also highlighted the employment of Emirati, Saudi, Omani, Egyptian and Bahraini nationals, who are serving the region, supporting diversity and community engagement.
Committee members were briefed on the latest regulatory developments impacting the environment and maritime safety, with emphasis on the European Commission’s Fuel EU program and the European Union’s Fit for 55 plan and emissions trading system (EU ETS).

They also received updates on sustainability subjects. For shipping to reach net-zero carbon emissions, vessels will need to employ energy efficiency technologies such as retrofits with lower friction coatings in combination with carbon capture technologies and the adoption of biofuels.

The Committee meetings are a forum for ABS members, including owners, operators, charterers, and industry representatives from flag Administrations, owner associations, and the shipbuilding and insurance sectors, to come together with ABS leaders and discuss industry issues and developments. These forums are an important part of an ongoing dialogue with the industry to address technical, operational and regulatory challenges