Green shipping heads SMM 2014 agenda

Hamburg prepares to welcome the global shipping industry
The event attracts over 50,000 visitors from around the world.
The event attracts over 50,000 visitors from around the world.

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The German port town of Hamburg, one of the largest gateways to Europe, prepares to welcome the global shipping industry next month

At SMM 2014, environmental protection takes a prominent place on the agenda. An entire day of the leading international maritime trade fair will be dedicated to the Global Maritime Environmental Congress (GMEC), to study current trends in efficiency improvement and sustainability.

The shipping industry is facing major changes, as early as 2015, ships will be required to use fuel with a sulphur content below 0.1 per cent within Emission Control Areas (ECAs), i.e. in the Baltic and North Seas as well as along the coasts of North America.

As of 2016, the NOx emissions of newly launched ships must be reduced to about 25 per cent of the current value. And as of 2020, all HFO will be banned. More than 60,000 ships will have to be converted to other fuels or retrofitted with exhaust gas scrubbers by then.

“At GMEC, the global maritime environmental congress, which will take place on the Environmental Protection Theme Day of SMM on 9 September, international experts will discuss new solutions and technologies which can help the shipping industry achieve its environmental goals,” says Bernd Aufderheide, Chairman of the Board of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH.

The conference, titled Setting the Green Course, is once again hosted jointly by Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH.
Ship owners around the world have begun retrofitting vessels for LNG. The Turkish shipyard Sanmar is currently building the world’s first tugboats propelled by LNG engines. They have been ordered by Buksér og Berging AS of Norway.

Even in the cruise industry there is growing interest in LNG. Both AIDA Cruises and TUI Cruises have partnered with engineering companies to develop floating power stations using liquefied natural gas for power generation. This will allow cruise ships to switch of their auxiliary engines while in port.

The general trend towards LNG is undeniable: The classification society DNV GL expects the LNG powered fleet to grow to 3,200 ships by the year 2025. However, a number of unresolved issues remain.

“The speed of introduction of LNG largely depends on the refuelling infrastructure, the fuel savings compared to diesel fuel, and the required legal framework,” says Dr Stephan Timmermann, Head of Marine Systems at MAN Diesel & Turbo SE and member of the Advisory Board of SMM, the leading trade event for the global shipping industry.

Furthermore, an extensive network of refuelling stations has yet to be established. LNG will be among the topics on the agenda of GMEC, as will be trimming, route optimisation, ship design, ballast water management and hull coatings, all of which are key issues in the ongoing discussion about efficiency enhancements and green shipping.

“The GMEC conference is one of the leading industry platforms addressing environmental subjects where trends are identified and decisions prepared. We are pleased to say that once again the conference will feature a highly distinguished roster of experts,” says Aufderheide.

Along with environmental shipping, the fair will also feature topics with a strong emphasis on the offshore industry and recruiting. Industry experts will offer their opinion on offshore energy and whether oil, gas or wind, face a tightening regime of restrictions.

In Germany, for example, the German Federal Bureau of Maritime Traffic and Hydrography (BSH) recently updated its standards for offshore wind energy units, offshore converter and inverter stations, and subsea high-power transfer cables.

But regardless of the unclear political environment, the offshore industry continues to expand, a fact reflected in the order books of shipyards. Some recent achievements include: The Norwegian Fjellstrand shipyard in Oma completed the construction of “Siem Moxie”, a so-called “Infield Support Vessel”. Maersk ordered a new cable-laying vessel from the Dutch Damen shipbuilding group. The ship will be a “Damen Offshore Carrier DOC 8500” type.

Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) likewise received an order from the offshore segment: Two identical ships designed specifically for oil production installations will be built for the Norwegian company Siem Offshore.

A ship expected to revolutionise the offshore market is the “High Glow Installation Vessel” (HF 4). This specialised construction vessel developed jointly by the British engineering firm Mojo Maritime and the Hamburg-based ship-owner Hammonia Reederei is designed for Dynamic Positioning (DP) operations in currents as strong as ten knots.

The offshore market is obviously in good health. But what does the industry need, and which shipyards are able to benefit? What does this mean for suppliers of marine equipment? Answering these and other questions will be the purpose of the Offshore Dialogue on 11 September, the designated “Offshore Day” of SMM 2014, the leading international maritime trade fair.

More than 500 experts will discuss the synergies, development potential and challenges of the offshore segment. As in previous years, this year’s SMM Offshore Dialogue will be supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy.

SMM is the foremost event of the maritime industry. This year it will take place from 9 to 12 September. For the first time, each day of the fair will be highlighting one specific topic.

“This concept allows us to focus on the truly important issues of our industry, and cover them in-depth. In our conferences and workshops highly distinguished experts from around the world will introduce the audience to the most recent trends in each of the featured fields of expertise,” says Aufderheide.

Apart from Offshore, the five featured topics at SMM will include Finance, Maritime Environmental Protection, Recruiting as well as Security and Defence.

Another urgent topic challenging the industry is the severe shortage of skilled staff for the shipbuilding and supply industries. According to a recent survey conducted by the German Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering Association (VCSM), the German maritime industry needs around 140 new shipbuilding engineers per year.

However, Germany’s six maritime engineering schools produce no more than 90 graduates annually. Qualified engineers can count on successful careers at shipyards or in the shipbuilding supply chain, which includes classification societies, ship model testing facilities and ship-owning companies. Applicants not only need a solid technical and scientific background.

Increasingly employers are looking for skills such as foreign languages, project management and logistics expertise, along with so-called soft skills, from communication and presentation skills through to mobility and an intercultural mindset. Therefore education and professional training programmes offered by universities and naval academies are high on the agenda.

SMM’s Recruiting Day on 12 September will join trainers, employers and applicants, providing a job service platform to help human resources executives from the industry attract job seekers and provide information about industry-specific education and training programmes offered by employers.

Companies and institutes will present themselves on the “Maritime Career Market”. As a special service, secondary school and university-level students will be admitted to the fair free of charge on 12 September.

SMM, a leading international maritime trade fair takes place in Hamburg, Germany from 9 to 12 September 2014.

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