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Fuels & Lubes

Managing Complexity In association with:


Contents 2 Overview 3 Biolubes 4 Customer Service 5 Technical Advice 6 The World’s ECAs

An ASM publication Editorial Director: Sam Chambers Associate Editors: Jason Jiang Katherine Si Correspondents: Athens: Ionnis Nikolaou Bogota: Richard McColl Cairo: Camelia Ewiss Cape Town: Joe Cunliffe Dubai: Yousra Shaikh Genoa: Nicola Capuzzo Hong Kong: Alfred Romann London: Holly Birkett Mumbai: Shirish Nadkarni New York: Suzanne Smith Oslo: Hans Thaulow San Francisco: Donal Scully Shanghai: Colin Quek Singapore: V Subramanian Sydney: Ross White-Chinnery Taipei: David Green Tokyo: Masanori Kikuchi Contributors: Nick Berriff, Andrew CraigBennett, Charles De Trenck, Paul French, Chris Garman, Lars Jensen, Jeffrey Landsberg, Peter Sand, Siddhartha Sanyal, Eytan Uliel Editorial material should be sent to or mailed to Office 701, 9 Renmin Lu, Zhongshan District, Dalian, China 116001 Commercial Director: Grant Rowles Sales Director: Helen Ong Maritime ceo advertising agents are also based in Japan, Korea, Scandinavia and Greece — to contact a local agent email for details MEDIA KITS ARE AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD AT: All commercial material should be sent to or mailed to Asia Shipping Media, 30 Cecil Street, #19-08 Prudential Tower, Singapore 049712 Design: Tigersoft Design Printers: Allion Printing, Hong Kong

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8 Ecoships 9 Technology Gambles 10 Operators 11 Vessel Cosmetics 12 Travel

Who’d be a shipowner?


he life of a shipowner has rarely been so perilously difficult. With the Baltic Dry Index scraping record lows this year, shipping’s recession – now into its seventh year – has withdrawn so much capital from shipping firms’ credit lines that new investments can seem nigh on impossible. Moreover, the hugely changing regulatory framework governing shipping has never been more complex, arguably never so experimental and certainly never so expensive to comply with. With shipping’s environmental footprint increasingly under the spotlight the IMO and flag states around the world have pushed through a dizzying array of new rules and regulations that make the trading life of a ship extraordinarily convoluted. Whether it’s emission control areas or ballast water treatment systems and myriad other confusing new technologies, the job of a technical director at a shipping line is one that needs a constant dose of Panadol. Pity too the lives of crew onboard, especially the masters and chief engineers making world trade happen. Many of these men and women signed up for a career at sea, not to be pen pushers, which increasingly is their remit in today’s overly

bureaucratic shipping world. This magazine’s goal, its quest, is to help manage the complexities of shipping in the second decade of the 21st century – no easy task, I grant you. As ever, any questions, quibbles or comments, please feel free to drop me a line at

Sam Chambers Editor Maritime ceo



Navigating choppy regulatory waters Shipping has never been so complex. Pity the work of masters and chief engineers around the world’s seven seas, argues UniMarine’s Caroline Huot


ho’d be a shipowner or manager today? Not only are rates still fragile at best, the fact is regulations continue to pile up making day-to-day operations incredibly taxing. Managing complexity is the theme of this magazine, something that Caroline Huot, managing director of UniMarine Lubricants, is passionate about. “Shipping is so much more complicated in every aspect than just a few years ago,” she tells Maritime CEO. A master is obliged to comply with multiple regulations, she relates, filling out hundreds of reports for many different authorities, while he is also meant to be taking care of the ship, the cargo and the crew. “A master is running a company called a ship, which is crumbling below an enormous bureaucracy,” Huot, a French national now living in Singapore, quips. “A master joined ships to look after vessels, not to be a paper pusher,” she adds. All the new technology is also confusing and time consuming to get up to speed with. “Our job,” says the lubes veteran, “is to try to alleviate concerns and challenges.” This is no easy feat given the complexity that runs in the cylinder oil field. Ten years back it was simple, there were basically two types of cylinder oil grades – high and low sulphur. Operators tended to have one grade in their tanks, and drums on deck for the second grade.


A master is running a company called a ship, which is crumbling below an enormous bureaucracy

Then MARPOL and the emission control areas (ECAs) came along, and cylinder oil choices became murky. Universal lubricants seemed a solution, but Huot reckons these are not optimal at the extreme sides of the fuel sulphur content. As the financial crisis hit, sending shipping sliding, lube suppliers reduced inventories and the number of grades on offer at a time when

engine manufacturers had been trying to build, as Huot describes, “less greedy engines” – ones that consume less, are eco and can handle slow steaming. Further muddying the pool, new regulations arrived mandating the use of marine gas oil (MGO) in ECAs that resulted in the need for a specific new grade of cylinder oil (BN 25) which came in addition to another new grade (BN 100) responding to the requirements of the newer longer stroke engines and resolved many of the issues of cold corrosion. Nowadays, ships trading worldwide need to carry up to five different grades of cylinder oils onboard, a far cry from a decade ago. Feed and consumption rates of lubes are different depending on the grade, adding more headaches for hard pressed chief engineers everywhere. For instance, when using a low sulphur cylinder oil, the recommended feed rate is lower so adjustment to the injection rate of the lube is required and when changing to another type of cylinder oil, adjustment is again needed. Even with an electronic lubricator, mistakes are costly, resulting in damages caused by over or under lubrication. Of course, with oil majors tightening their belts at a time when so many different grades are required, lube availability is an enormous problem. The availability issue has been magnified with the new ECAs and their 0.1% sulphur cap, which came into force this year. Burning distillates ultimately necessitates the use of a specific cylinder oil – SAE 50 BN 25 – which needs to be lifted prior to entry into such zones, and is not easy to secure at the moment. “At UniMarine,” Huot says, “we believe that aligning OEM recommendations, owners’ choices and practical aspects, like the availability of recommended products, is in the best interest of the shipping industry.” In concluding she says, “Complexity needs training, understanding, close cooperation with suppliers, and some trial and error.” ● maritime ceo


Spreading far and wide Environmentally acceptable lubricants are mandatory in the US, and could be made so elsewhere soon, says UniMarine’s Rob Atkinson


nvironmentally acceptable lubricants (EALs) – familiarly called biolubes – are becoming a big deal in the maritime industry ever since their mandatory use in the US was dictated by the Vessel General Permit (VGP) of December 2013. Not only do the costs involved in changing a ship’s lubricants make it sensible for vessels trading worldwide to comply with strictest requirements, but rules introduced in the US have a habit of spreading over into Europe and beyond, as witnessed by the EU’s introduction of an ‘Ecolabel’ notation for lubricants, as yet only voluntary. The VGP covers all commercial vessels of 79 ft and over that operate within three miles of the US coastline, requiring them to use EALs instead of mineral oils in all oil-to-sea interfaces unless it is not technically feasible. In practice this is mostly applicable to equipment such as stern tubes, thrusters, fin stabilisers, deck machinery and top side wire ropes. “EALs may be defined generally as materials that are biodegradable and thus friendly to the marine environment,” explains Rob Atkinson, US-based executive director of UniMarine. Some of these lubricants are ester-based and some are polyalphaolefin-based. Ester-based biolubricants can be naturally occurring, such as those composed of vegetable oil base stocks, or may be synthetically produced. Synthetic esters are manufactured from carefully selected raw materials to give a finished product that is tailored to the specific application. Polyalphaolephins are also used in synthetic biolubricant production, and are specially designed

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chemicals that are uniquely made from alphaolefins. The problem with this is that “seal compatibility tests carried out by OEMs are based on a particular EAL oil each time. Therefore, mixing different oils from different brands has a very high risk of seals incompatibility,” he points out, meaning changing biolubes from one type to the other risks “impacting the performance of seals”. Ship operators therefore have to ensure that their preferred type is available wherever and whenever needed, for example during drydocking in foreign yards where the choice of biolubes may be limited. Also, wider technical issues surrounding the introduction of biolubes have been reported. For example, Ole Christian Schroder, director of environmental compliance for Scorpio Group, points out that “running-in tests need to be conducted with a fully immersed propeller before or on the way to sea trials, in order to ensure stable temperatures for stern tube bearings.’’ Then there are practical

Biolubes may be defined generally as materials that are biodegradable

challenges, such as obtaining lubricants of choice – for example, as specified in Original Equipment Manufacturers’ recommendations – at a time when “the supply market has changed with oil majors paring down their services to just include major ports to maintain profitability,” according to Atkinson. He relates an experience of a few months ago when a yard in Asia had said a specific product would be readily available, but then admitted at the last minute that it could not be obtained. UniMarine ended up shipping the product from Hamburg over the weekend in order to meet the vessel arriving on Monday. “At UniMarine, managing these complexities is our core mission,” Atkinson concludes, “since we believe it is in the best interest of not only our clients but the shipping industry as a whole.” ●


Customer Service

‘I am 24/7’ UniMarine aims to differentiate itself from its rivals by being on call and close to clients at all times, as Wani Ariappan relates


or Wani Ariappan the shrill ring of her mobile phone at some ungodly hour is all part of the job. As a customer service manager at UniMarine, Ariappan fields inquiries from all over the world no matter the hour. The company has other customer service people in place in other key times zones such as in Piraeus and the US, but Ariappan, with close to 20 years in the shipping sector, is the most experienced in the team. “I am 24/7,” concedes a surprisingly chirpy Ariappan in Singapore, “so any customer from anywhere in the world can call me. I’ve been doing this for nearly 15 years so I am used to the phone ringing at crazy hours. I sleep with the phone.” Ariappan receives inquiries from across the globe, she then has to offer them prices for whatever port they are after. She will also liaise to ensure the logistics of getting the cylinder oil


to the right place on time. On how UniMarine differs to its competitors when it comes to customer service, Ariappan says: “We are always there to offer solutions to customers. We always find ways to satisfy their needs.” For example, if a vessel needs urgent supplies and cannot find them, UniMarine sources a solution. “We never say no,” she says, “we find a solution – even if it is seeking an alternative product as we have the technical experts plus the logistics know-how – we don’t take the

We never say no, we find a solution – even if it is seeking an alternative product as we have the technical experts plus the logistics know-how

easy way out and say that there is no product – we find a solution, at any hour. We are all marine experts here at UniMarine – that is how we are different to other competitors.” On places that can be tricky to source lubes, Ariappan admits Africa can be challenging because UniMarine has to be very sure of the quality and who it is dealing with. Brazil can also be difficult as vessels trading in Brazil waters face high local taxes and certain terminals do not allow bulk supply, just drum supply so UniMarine often has to advise customers to take a minimum requirement from Brazil as well as picking up the cylinder oil at the last port in Brazil in order to avoid paying tax. UniMarine dedicates one senior marine client services officer to manage all orders from a shipowner from shipyard delivery until the end of the contract term. ● maritime ceo

Technical Challenges Advice

Cylinder oil selections New engines have brought new problems for lube suppliers, as UniMarine’s Thomas To discusses


on’t let the smiling face mislead you. UniMarine’s affable global technical director, Thomas To, is very serious when it comes to matching the right cylinder oil with the right engine, a job that has got a great deal more complex in recent years. Growing environmental legislation, more technologically advanced engines and the slow steaming era have all brought their own difficulties to bear on ship operators selecting the right cylinder oil. “OEMs have a different mentality for these new engines,” To tells Maritime CEO. “The high pressure in the combustion chamber often causes cold corrosion,” he says, “especially when slow steaming.” Confusingly, each engine manufacturer seems to have a different lube recommendation to counter this. MAN, for instance, suggests a BN 100 cylinder oil from various oil companies to get around it as well as en bloc cylinder oil analysis to help operators understand the condition of the cylinder pistons. Mitsubishi on the other hand recommends BN 100 oil only from one oil company for their engines, with the rest okay to use normal BN 70 from various oil companies. Both MAN and Wartsila have developed a range of long stroke engines, as well as some duel fuel compliant ones, all of which face cold corrosion issues, To says. Today’s maritime business focuses increasingly on uptime gains and preventive maintenance. Comprehensive and consistent testing and analysing of a vessel’s used oil helps operators identify potential maintenance savings. As a consequence UniMarine in cooperation with one of the

Lubricants Special

The high pressure in the combustion chamber often causes cold corrosion especially when slow steaming

most well reputed and experienced marine laboratories have created the LubeSafe used oil analysis service. The LubeSafe website gives you fast and easy access to the reports, results and recommendations. LubeSafe’s experienced marine engineers are also available at short notice in main ports worldwide to provide help and advice. UniMarine also organises upon request specific technical trainings onshore and onboard for a diverse range of marine lubrication themes. Helping crew at sea, UniMarine has developed the LubeSafe Minilab to control operational conditions of a ship’s machinery equipment. The oil test case contains all the testing devices which enable marine engineers to test and assess the most important parameters of the marine

lubricants in service onboard. Gathered in a water resistant plastic case are multiple testing reagents, sampling recommendations, test devices operation and tests’ results interpretation advice. The tests include for viscosity, insolubles, water content and base number identification Finally, as part of its commitment to be close to its customers, UniMarine convenes a yearly technical conference in order to share information on new topics impacting marine lubricants and the shipping industry, which Maritime CEO can attest, is both insightful and later on in the evening great fun. This year’s conference takes place in Singapore during the Lion Republic’s busy maritime week this April. ●


The World’s ECAs

Green seas A guide to existing and future emission control areas Existing Proposed


maritime ceo

The World’s REGULAR ECAs

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Here to stay Shipowners order vessels with the next two decades in mind, not a 12-month window


he most recent Future of Shipping Poll carried out by Maritime CEO paints its own picture of the ecoships debate. With bunker prices at lows not seen in a decade the charge to order greener ships has waned. “The operating-cost differential between ultra-modern, consumption-friendly vessels and converted older tonnage is a much closer calculation than what it has been,” said shipbroker Clarkson in a report. Nevertheless, while this year ecoships make little sense financially, an owner buys a vessel and plans for the next 25 years, not a 12-month window. What is undeniable is that we have passed the peak of the world’s oil production – inevitably the price of a barrel of crude will go up in the coming years, thus making the argument for less greedy ships abundantly clear. Around 61% of the 445 respondents to the poll said owners would not regret the extensive ordering of ecoships now that bunker prices have halved.


“How does a short-term drop have any effect on a ship with a trading schedule of 15 to 30 years?” one respondent mused, adding: “Anyone who is using this drop to make long-term decisions is doomed to fail anyway. Bunker prices will continue to rise as more regulation comes into force, such as the global sulphur rules in 2020-2025.”

Anyone who is using this oil price drop to make long-term decisions is doomed to fail

Emission control areas (ECAs) are set to multiply in number as the map on the preceding page shows, while the IMO’s global sulphur cap promises to change the face of shipping, even if it does come out five years later than planned. Interestingly, respondents to our poll felt environmental regulations would be the second largest headache

for owners in the coming five years – only overcapacity weighed more heavily on the shoulders of the hardpressed owner. Maritime CEO’s lead columnist, Andrew Craig-Bennett, has weighed in on the issue of shipping’s environmental footprint in typically insightful fashion. A rate of growth of 2.8% annually (which is how merchant shipping has grown on average since 1949), compounded annually, produces a doubling of the original number in 15 years. In the year 2000, the world fleet was half the size it is now. In 2030, it will be twice the size. “The impact on the world’s seas, and on the air above them, of twice as much merchant shipping is going to be ghastly. People will notice. There will be regulatory changes. Serious ones,” Craig-Bennett warns in his latest column. That is the rub – ecoships are here to stay, not just by dint of economics going forward, but by growing regulatory pressure. ● maritime ceo

Technology Gambles

Scrubbed out Not everyone is taken with exhaust gas cleaning technology


ne interim measure that many owners are toying with to circumvent the growing ECA regulations is installing sulphur scrubbers. However, the jury is still very much out as to whether this is a worthwhile solution. Dutch research outfit CE Delft certainly has its doubts. In a recent report it questioned the economic returns of the technology as well as its genuine efficiency. That has not stopped some 300 units being ordered so far. CE Delft noted: “Although the IMO wash water criteria for scrubbers are generally met, scrubbers may have a negative impact on marine environment due to acidification, eutrophication and the accumulation of hazardous hydrocarbons and heavy metals in case dilution is limited. This may lead to a deterioration of the water quality.”

Scrubbers, CE Delft reckoned, could fall foul of the European Water Framework Directive and Marine Strategy Framework Directive which set maximum concentrations for certain hazardous pollutants. The study also pointed out that scrubbers only make financial sense if the price differential between fuel oils and distillates remains significant. A couple of owners trading in the Baltic ECA tell Maritime CEO that scrubbers are not on their buying lists.

Ballast water systems remain murky It could well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, one Hong Kong shipowner confided with Maritime CEO on ballast water treatment system (BWTS) regulations. Amid low freight rates the cost of the new kit and the drydocking is something few can afford, and for many it remains unclear whether the systems installed are up to date enough. First generation systems may not meet the requirements of revised guidelines. In March, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore released the results of its trial of testing six ships for compliance with the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention. The report identified a number of practical problems for both port state control and ships’ crew.

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The testing found that the high turbidity of the water from the ballast water tanks can interfere with both indicative and detailed analysis methods. There were only single sample points available, which meant the sampling system had to be run in ‘open’ mode, discharging waste water into the bilge. This put a limit on the amount of water that could be sampled, since not too much water was allowed to be discharged into the bilge. There was no provision onboard to collect and retain ballast water. Makeshift drums and portable pumps were used to collect and transfer collected sampled ballast water to the bilges. The pitch circle diameter of the sampling G2 valve fitted onboard was

Carisbrooke Shipping CEO Robert Wester says, “In the short-sea trades, the economics of scrubber installations to clean exhaust gas, or engine retrofits to burn alternative fuels such as liquid natural gas, simply don’t stack up. In relatively small ships, there are invariably space and stability constraints relating to scrubber installations.” Meanwhile, Jan Hanses, CEO of Finnish cruise/ferry firm, Viking Line, says, “Scrubbers require considerable investments,” adding that they are still not a relevant solution in their current form. “Most shipowners will not retrofit vessels with scrubbers to clean HFO. The payback time for the investment can be up to seven years, whereas shipowners typically want to be paid back within three years at most,” Boston Consulting Group noted in a recent report. ● not always of the same standard for all the vessels. As such prior arrangement of the correct connecting flange for the sampler was needed. Vessels following procedures like trim optimisation may find it difficult, MPA reckoned, to follow the holding time requirements of a BWTS. UniMarine’s Caroline Huot says it is vital crews pay attention to the new systems until they become routine. “Crews will have to get used to self-training and technology familiarisation,” she says. However, all the investment, as it stands, may be in vein. The California State Lands Commission’s newly released 2015 Biennial Report on the California Marine Invasive Species Program warned that current shipboard BWTSs have not demonstrated the ability to meet Californian regulations. ●



Preparation key to impending legislation

Maritime CEO interviews top lines on switching fuels and lubes


hipping knows only too well the difficulties of handling fuel and lubes in 2015’s cluttered, complex seas. Managing fuel and lubes has always been and will be about finding the most suitable and cost effective solution in the face of changing regulations. Regulations form the benchmark, says Captain Samir Fernandez, global operations and fuel efficiency manager at X-Press Feeders. They must be understood and evaluated both technically and commercially and followed up with early planning by considering the various options for compliance. Fernandez cites the 0.1% sulphur cap in European waters this year as an example. Vessel operators had a varied choice between MGO, alternative fuels, scrubbers or LNG. “To date the alternate fuels do not have an ISO specification and the jury is still out on whether they are fully compatible with residual fuels,” Fernandez says, adding: “The trick for us was to evaluate the cost effectiveness of an HFO/MGO mix or be adventurous with a new product.” Kevin Smith, vice president at Masterbulk Ship Management, says planning is key, having things like the right additives onboard so


owners do not get caught out if the voyage orders change. It is vital too to have good communication with the commercial team and charterers to facilitate the planning, and proper analysis of the fuel. Sanjeev Samal, a VP at the same firm, reveals some tricks of the trade including regular energy audits and energy conservation actions. Retrofitting, though capital intensive, can reap huge fuel savings too, he says. Cesare d’A mico, who heads up d’A mico Group, says: “Nowadays, in the present market, first class shipping companies cannot avoid considering the eco-compatibility side of shipping and these issues must be top priorities especially when building new ships.” Carisbrooke Shipping, which has been trading in the Baltic ECA this year, has managed to perform “without a hitch”, says the firm’s CEO, Robert Wester. The compliance process has been expensive, he admits. Carisbrooke’s fleet technical director Martin Henry says: “Knowing what kind of serious failures and problems can occur during the extremely critical period of fuel change-over, if not managed well, we decided that careful preparation was a priority, not least because the

regulations were to enter force at the very worst time of year when weather conditions are often at their most severe.” Carisbrooke seconded two serving senior chief engineers to head office and between them, they visited all of the line’s vessel series, carrying out actual change-overs to and from MGO in order to draw up suitable detailed procedures. “The procedures vary,” Henry says, “because onboard some of our older vessels, there is limited tank capacity for distillate fuel, and more time is required for the change-over process. On others, we had to reorganise fuel supply pipework where this was economically viable.” Delphis, best known as an intra-European box player, has been one of the companies most affected by this year’s introduction of an ECA in Europe. “From a technical point of view,” says Alex Saverys, the line’s CEO, “it’s too early to say what impact a prolonged consumption of MGO will have on the engines of 10 to 15-year-old ships.” For Jan Hanses 2015 has been all about getting used to operating within an ECA. The ceo of ferry firm, Viking Line, has six of his seven vessels sailing in the new Baltic ECA. These ships are now running on MGO, the cost of which will hit the line for an additional EUR10m-15m this year alone, according to Hanses. Viking Line’s 2013-built Viking Grace is the exception to the rest of the fleet. It is the first vessel on the Baltic Sea – and the first large passenger vessel in the world – to be powered by LNG. Finally in this operators’ roundup, Clipper has decided to convert one HFO tank on six of its 30,000 dwt Trader-type bulk carriers into MGO tanks. The conversion reduces unnecessary costs of frequent bunker operations and delays, the Danish line says. Simultaneously, it makes the vessels compliant with current legislation. As an extra benefit, Clipper says the physical separation of piping makes it very unlikely to mix the two fuel grades by mistake. ● maritime ceo

Vessel Cosmetics

Rust never sleeps Maintaining a vessel’s cosmetics is vital, however dire the market conditions


rustbucket is likely to lead to lower rate possibilities and more headaches for owners. Keeping a vessel’s exterior in good condition not only protects an owner’s reputation, but also ultimately his or her bottom line. “The cosmetics side is critical,” argues Tim Huxley, the ceo of Hong Kong’s Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings, “as that is the frontline of your company’s image. Crew are more motivated if it is a smart ship and first impressions our important – whether it be a charterer, a vetting inspector or financier going onboard.” Vaibhav Singhal, general manager at X-Press Feeders, reckons that customers never really get to get to know the inside of a vessel and they very much rely on the external cosmetic condition of a ship in deciding to do business. Not mincing his words, Kevin Leach-Smith, vice president at Singapore’s Masterbulk, says: “First impressions are everything, especially when it comes to port state

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inspectors and the like. Look like a rustbucket and they will treat you like a rustbucket, no matter how good your people and systems are.” Huxley then cautions: “It’s certainly not everything and throwing paint at a ship will not cover any inherent ills.” A decent looking ship is also important for those who are tasked with operating it, something that is often overlooked. Fared Khan, fleet personnel director at Hong Kong’s Wallem Ship Management, insists: “A good-looking vessel builds crew motivation and can have a positive affect on the physical and mental health of crew.” “Any rust spot arisen should be tackled immediately to avoid it from spreading,” says Wah Kwong’s deputy COO, Capt J F Zhou.

Look like a rustbucket and they will treat you like a rustbucket

Regular maintenance does not require a huge number of crew on board. PMS systems are an efficient tool to assist the crew to maintain the cosmetic integrity of the vessel. Deck corrosion is an issue, especially with older vessels, points out Leach-Smith from Masterbulk. “You have to keep on top of it, or it is a never ending game which you can never win,” he warns. In conclusion, Kenneth Koo from Hong Kong’s Tai Chong Cheang Steamship sums it up best. “When I look at maintenance,” he says, “I do not necessarily interpret that as a cost. I tend to look at this more as an investment from the point of risk management. Being proactive, learning to apply early detection, diagnosis and preventative maintenance is the key.” After all, maintenance costs are limited. It’s the consequential damages that are sustained when a vessel is at sea which will be the most destructive, potentially extending towards loss of life and reputation for the owner. ●



Escape and evasion during Singapore Maritime Week Maritime CEO provides readers with many hidden gems in the Lion Republic


aritime conferences are generally hard work and educationally focused. As such, a smart attendee should plan for both diurnal and nocturnal ‘networking’ opportunities. After all, too much focus on the state of the markets is now widely accepted to be an HSE issue. So, where should you take a key client for a nice bite to eat, and perhaps an event-appropriate sundowner? And, if you’ve got a spare hour during the day, how can you make the most of the local experiences at hand? Pay attention…your marketing ROIs and KPIs just might depend on the following.

Diurnal options Let’s start at the beginning. Breakfast—it’s the most important meal of the day. Roti prata is a local favorite. A flour-based crispy pancake, roti is one of Singapore’s signature dishes. To get the best roti you have to ‘go local’ so this will mean an open-air restaurant or hawker centre. Located a little out of town, one of the best roti stalls in Singapore is Mr and Mrs Mohgan’s Super Crispy Roti Prata at 7 Crane Road in Joo Chiat. The trip is worth


it, and this is one of the last places to (reputedly) still make their own dough. Labrador Park (or Labrador Nature Reserve) is a great escape from the concrete jungle. A reminder of colonial times and the Second World War defence of Singapore, this reserve combines thick vegetation, gun emplacements, and a waterfront park. It’s also handy to the MPA building if you find yourself in that part of town. For lunch, why not try laksa, a coconut curry dish made with chicken, seafood, and noodles. It has a bit of spice to it, and it is a local favourite. The Zhen Mei laksa on Bukit Merah Lane opposite Queensway Shopping Centre has a great local reputation and the claypot spin on this recipe results in wonderfully rich flavours. Again, this is a local outdoors dining experience. This hawker centre is relatively hard to find, tucked in between local shops and apartments (ask a taxi driver to show you the way). The surrounding area is also well worth exploring.

Nocturnal drinks Although the haunts of Boat Quay,

Clarke Quay, and Club Street still pull in the crowds, Singapore is going through a bit of a speakeasy phase. This offers up a few different options for client entertainment. So, ruining the surprise and ‘exclusivity’ of the speakeasy concept, here’s our top picks. Operation Dagger at 7 Ann Siang Hill is an underground cocktail bar with great décor and an impressive set to ceiling lights (I wouldn’t want to be the lighting manager). Try and find the glass door with a rectangle and inverted crown. The bar is located at the bottom of the staircase. Much like the ‘tailor’s shop’ front in the spy movie Kingsman: the Secret Service, The Library at 47 Keong Saik Road comes with a ‘front’ business and a secret door. However, it also comes with great cocktails and food. So if you fancy yourself as a covert operative (with a possible drinking problem), this is the place to be. Finally, located through a non-descript, unsigned, door 28 Hong Kong Street is Singapore’s original ‘unbranded’ bar. Internationally lauded, this is one of Singapore’s best-ranked establishments. Reservations are essential. ● maritime ceo

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Maritime CEO Fuels & Lubes Special  

Maritime CEO has teamed up with UniMarine Lubricants to publish a guide helping shipowners to navigate the complex fuels and lubes sector. T...