BASSNET REMAINS ON COURSE
SEA VIEW: WFOM
2020 | ISSUE 3
A PLASTIC ODYSSEY
4 WALLEM WORLD
SAFETY: WAKING UP TO FATIGUE
SEA VIEW: WFOM DISPATCHES: UKRAINE AND CHINA
BASSNET REMAINS ON COURSE
SAFETY: A TESTING TIME FOR FUEL QUALITY
SAFETY: ON HIGH ALERT IN WEST AFRICA
A PLASTIC ODYSSEY
Contributors: Mary Jane Canencia; Castelino Derek Colin; Gavin Dsouza; Peter Fallei; Abhijit Ghosh; Johan Gustafsson; Rohit Jolly; Fared Khan; Sameer Khanna; Andrew Lemmis; Charolyn Maur; Aditya Mohare; Samuel Morales; Subramanian Rajagopal; Lidia Selivanova; Ben Shao; Gaurav Sood; Praveen Shukla; Ioannis Stefanou; Kevin Tester (JLA Media) Design: Jodie Graves Subscription: email@example.com
MESSAGE FROM THE CEO
SAFETY as a
his edition is about SAFETY. It is a word that many and in fact we all talk about, but all too often we fail to walk the talk on safety. Safety does not start at work and it does not stop at the end of the working day. It should be a lifestyle. At Wallem over the last few months we have been very active in highlighting safety as a core value of our behaviors ashore and on board. On board ships safety has always been a value that requires focus and attention to detail. Ships are a dangerous environment and care must be taken when living and working on a ship. Ashore we have tended to be less conscious of the need to think and act safely. In the last few months we have created safety leaders in each office ashore, with fire wardens and first aid leaders. We have discussed the need for safety, from everything including using the escalator rail to walking down the street with the phone in your face so you are not looking where you are going. We have also increased the quality of the safety briefing at our offices when visitors come. The recent events in Hong Kong related to the protests increased our need to be vigilant and smart in how we come to work etc., this is also a safety matter. It is also a subject of our contingency planning for operations in the event of worsening conditions. More recently we have the coronavirus and this is also a safety first situation. Safety as a culture and attitude is a requirement for those who work at Wallem. It is irresponsible to be otherwise, ashore or on board.
At Wallem we put Safety First. We are empowered to stop any unsafe acts or behaviours. We think, act and live Safety, on-the-job, off-the-job, onboard and ashore. Our goal is â€˜Zero Incidentsâ€™.
Frank J Coles Chief Executive Officer Wallem Group wallem.com
Erviken receives CAP 1 Rating
A Wallem-managed 152,146 dwt crude oil tanker built in 2004 received CAP 1 rating by classification society ABS. The certification implies the 16-year-old Erviken is close to newbuild condition and allows its owner to demonstrate the vessel’s quality and suitability for charter. As a vessel ages, the way its hull, machinery and equipment are maintained becomes an increasingly critical factor in determining its likelihood of accidents, failures and pollution. CAP is a voluntary program, initially developed by the oil industry, to assess the continued fitness of older ships to carry their cargo safely. The assessment entails a detailed survey, including strength and fatigue analysis of the vessel’s structure and extensive testing of the vessel’s machinery, equipment and cargo systems. The verification survey was carried out during a sailing visit by the ABS-CAP Committee from Houston, Texas after Erviken underwent extensive work at a Turkish shipyard last year. Inspectors scrutinized around 300 locations around the ship, from main deck to ballast tanks to demonstrate the vessel’s condition after the upgrade.
Norwegian sisters join Wallem fleet
Two 49,999 DWT product/chemical tankers NH SIRI and NH ERLE became the latest addition to the Wallem managed fleet. The pair will join four other vessels that Wallem is already managing for owner Nyhill Shipping of Norway. Built at Hyundai Mipo in 2010, the two vessels are currently trading worldwide under the Norwegian flag.
NH Erle crew.
NH Siri crew.
FSL Osaka crew abuzz at discovering stowaways
A swarm of honeybees recently descended on FSL Osaka while the vessel was at Muara anchorage in Brunei. What drove the hivemind to select the No. 1 Line Crossover exactly at the valve location on the starboard side and time their arrival three hours before berthing was unclear. Fortunately for the crew, the vessel was due to berth port side for discharging operations. The unexpected visitors didnâ€™t hang around long however. They buzzed off when they discovered the vessel would shortly be heading for the busy Port of Singapore. Thank you to Capt Sameer Khanna, Second Officer Castelino Derek Colin and Deck Cadet Aditya Mohare for sharing the story and photos.
Wallem supports Mission monitor crew happiness
Wallem is partnering with the Mission to Seafarers to support its work in running the Seafarers Happiness Index – an ongoing quarterly survey measuring how satisfied (or not) seafarers are about various aspects of their working life. Later this year, the organisations will propose an action plan geared at overcoming the issues most regularly raised by seafarers. Wallem Group CEO Frank Coles said: “We are focused on quality ship management and this means quality crew, and quality crew should be happy. Working conditions and mental health are a priority and this survey is a great way to get a representative sample of actual seafarers’ views on life at sea and pinpoint what can be improved. Hopefully we can then use this to improve the lives of all seafarers.” The index is based on a set of ten questions
covering mental and physical health, diet, rest, workload, connectivity, training, access to shore leave, as well as relationships at home and onboard. The results give a voice to seafarers and provide a picture of the successes but also highlight problems within the occupation. Trends in the data can reveal opportunities to improve and develop.
Women of Wallem participate in WeCare workshop
In the latest report period covering October through December 2019, responses from 2000 seafarers suggest overall happiness dipped slightly to 6.13 out of a possible 10 from 6.59 the previous quarter.
Set up by the Mission to Seafarers, WeCare was developed to help seafarers and their families navigate some of the challenges they may experience. Besides covering responsible and safe use of social media, texting and emails, the workshop held in Manila offered advice on how to manage expectations and insights to what it’s like for their partners working at sea.
To learn more and take part in the survey, visit happyatsea.org
Members of Women of Wallem (WoW) network in the Philippines recently took part in WeCare workshop on how to get the most out of social media and electronic communications in managing relationships with partners working faraway at sea.
The WoW members came out feeling better informed about both the benefits and the downsides of electronic communication and look forward to putting their new knowledge into practice.
IMO Resolution for lifeboat maintenance
From 1 January 2020 new IMO requirements came into force concerning the periodic servicing of life saving appliances. Resolution MSC.402(96) also amends the requirements for authorization of service providers carrying out the periodic servicing. In short, owners and operators must ensure that all inspections and maintenance (examinations, operational tests, overhaul and repair) of equipment are carried out by personnel certified by an authorized party for each make and type/model of equipment to be worked on. With a global network of trained and certified engineers, SeaSafe services lifesaving appliances (LSA) and firefighting equipment (FFE) from more than 40 manufacturers. It has been audited by DNV GL to meet the new IMO requirements and authorized by the Panama and Liberia flags with approval from Bahamas expected soon. âˆŽ
2020 in maritime and this is not about IMO 2020
The biggest challenge for the industry is facings its hard truths. The biggest challenge for managers will be like Poseidon found on the end of a trident. The three prongs being security, crew and technology challenges. The piracy challenges are growing, and the risks are significant. The additional costs for security and safe passage have no clear solution, and industry leadership has largely left the topic alone. The problem needs a solution from government, from industry bodies and clarity on who is going to pay for the safety of the ship and crew. To say nothing of the possible impending heightened security issue in the Middle East. Crew welfare continues to be largely talk and buzzwords, and little is done to really advance these issues to a standard and level that a modern professional operation should be operating at. Criminalisation, poor working
conditions, poor and expensive communications, pay abuse, and several other factors continue to make the industry a challenge to keep quality staff. On the technology front, it is hard to know where to start on the issues. Scrubbers and fuel quality are likely to both bring ships to a grinding halt. Either by excessive maintenance or wear. Costs are likely to rise in commercial claims as well as keeping equipment working. Despite all that is written, the industry is largely way behind the technology curve on safe cyber solutions, communications solutions and a proper robust operational solution for performance and operational optimisation. 2020 will largely be a stumbling year as we all trip over scrubbers, bad fuel and pirates. 2020 will be the year when low sulphur powered ships carry huge amounts of coal to high sulphur burning countries in large numbers. Somewhere out there, someone has to see the irony in this madness. Frank Coles, Wallem Group CEO
COVER S TORY
WAKING UP TO
Seafarer fatigue is frequently implicated in incidents at sea. There are no easy solutions, but Wallem is tackling the problem from multiple sides to reduce the risks A United States Coast Guard survey of 279 maritime incidents estimated that fatigue contributed to one in six critical casualties and one in three personal injuries. Meanwhile, a separate study of more than 1,600 collisions, groundings, contacts and near collisions carried out by the UK’s Maritime Accident Investigation Branch found that one in three accidents occurred at night when the bridge was manned by a solitary watchkeeper, who was often showing signs of tiredness. Fatigue affects concentration and work performance, which in turn increases the risk of an accident. An individual can be suffering from fatigue but not necessarily feel sleepy. Definitions can be blurred but sleepiness is essentially a short term condition that comes on quickly and usually has a single cause – lack of sleep. Fatigue, on the other hand, is a long term condition that gradually takes hold and can be caused by multiple factors, including stress, irregular working hours and poor quality rest.
Regulatory requirements From a regulatory perspective, both the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW 2010) and the Marine Labor Convention (MLC 2006) set out detailed requirements on work and rest hours. In any 24-hour period, seafarers should have a minimum 10 hours rest (or a maximum 14 hours work), and a minimum 77 hours of rest (or maximum 72 hours work) over the course a week. Both regimes stipulate that rest should be split into no more than two periods, one of which must last at least six hours. The interval between rest periods should not exceed 14 hours. To ensure these minimum standards are adhered to, both conventions require that daily rest hours are properly logged and that any exceptions, such as those listed in a vessel’s Collective Bargain Agreement (CBA) or due to local regulations are recorded. On Wallem vessels, this task is accomplished with the aid of Navigator Port, a specialised piece of software created by classification society DNV GL.
Rest hour planning Vessel Masters and Chief Engineers use the Navigator Port planning feature to schedule day-to-day rotas while at sea and prepare timetables well in advance of port stops – the most frenetic part of any voyage, beginning with heightened navigational watchkeeping ahead of arrival. A big challenge with port stops is to minimise the need for simultaneous operations (SIMOPS). Fared Khan, Wallem’s Marine HR Director, told Pulse: “It sounds straightforward, but it’s a very dynamic process. If circumstance changes – for example, arrival is delayed due to a change in weather or an earlier slot opens or a tighter turnaround is needed – the plan has to be modified, or sometimes completely overhauled, to ensure there are no violations.” Occasionally this can’t be done, simply because there aren’t enough hours in the day. In such cases, the senior management onboard should notify the Rest Hour Monitoring Team (RHMT) – a squad of experienced seafarers turned watchdogs who keep a close eye on rest hours across the entire Wallem fleet – so that they can evaluate the proposed schedule and decide the best way forward. Fared explains: “They will liaise internally with the technical and crewing teams and, if necessary, follow up with the vessel’s owners to devise a solution. For example, if a problem is spotted early enough it may be possible to request extra manpower during the port stay.” Last year there were 25 instances where additional manpower was supplied to our vessels to comply with work and rest hour requirements. On one occasion Wallem requested that the owner delayed sailing the vessel by six hours so that staff could comply with MLC 2006 rest hour requirements. The RHMT inspects weekly rest hour tracker logs generated by Navigator Port and conducts detailed analysis of the more comprehensive monthly reports to spot any rest hour noncompliance trends that may demand further investigation.
Safeguard measures While technological aids like Port Navigator assist in ensuring compliance, they are not in themselves a solution to the problem. There are many ways to create an onboard environment that mitigates the likelihood of fatigue: ensuring crew are relieved on time; reducing bureaucracy and paperwork; improving the relationship between ship and shore; keeping rest hours in mind when planning surveys and inspections; and giving crew opportunities to recover after busy periods. Ultimately, however, a vessel’s Master has the overriding responsibility for crew welfare, and the authority to call a halt if crew members are felt not to be getting sufficient rest to perform the duties expected of them. In such cases, the Master must alert shore-based superiors. As a further safeguard, crew members are entitled to use the ‘STOP’ card to notify senior management on board about fatiguerelated safety concerns – whether linked to their own workload or work schedule or that of a colleague. Issues can also be raised through the onboard complaint procedure or passed through the Wallem SeaVoice email helpline. At Wallem, understanding the importance of work/rest hour management, the regulatory requirements and the tools available for putting safe behaviours into practice begins with comprehensive training for all seafarers prior to joining a vessel. The message is further reinforced by monthly bulletins sent to all vessels by the RHMT. The topic of work/rest hour management – and how it connects more broadly with vessel safety and seafarer wellbeing – is regularly raised at Wallem Fleet Officers meetings so that best practice from across the fleet can be shared. ∎
straightforward, but it’s a very dynamic process wmaal lge.m maxim c .oc.oz m a
COVER S TORY
A testing time for FUEL QUALITY Poor quality fuel can cause more harm than engine trouble. If a problem escalates, it can endanger a vessel and its crew. Pulse explores the safeguards Wallem has put in place to tackle the risks
oor quality fuel has been linked to all sorts of problems from clogged up filters and damaged or failed injectors to microbial growth and accelerated component wear. Some of these concerns have operational and safety implications that go far beyond their underlying mechanical issues. Fuel impurities will result in more maintenance more often. In the first place, oil filters will need to be cleaned more frequently to remove build-ups. Even so, impurities will lead to accelerated abrasion of almost any moving part that comes into contact with it, including fuel valves and pumps, pistons, cylinder liners, turbocharger etc. This in turn could result in serious failures that necessitate unplanned maintenance. Over extended periods persistent abrasion on key components will see a drop in overall engine efficiency, with knock-on effects on running costs. A more troubling scenario, however, is the risk of a major failure, like broken pistons, which can cause a loss in propulsion or black-out. Ioannis Stefanou, Technical Director, Wallem Group told Pulse: “If the timing is bad and the vessel happens to be in restricted waters or drifting during bad weather, it could result in a grounding or – worse still – a collision. In this way what begins as a nuisance can escalate into an incident endangering the lives of everyone onboard, the vessel itself and the environment.” Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the likelihood of such circumstances from arising. Fuel quality can be checked by sending a sample to shore for laboratory tests, where it will be analysed against prescribed standards for ash content, carbon residue, density, flash point, pour point, sediment by extraction, sulphur content, vanadium, viscosity, water content. For fuels received at a port with a history of variable quality in supply, there are options for deeper analysis using techniques such as gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. Mary Jane Canencia, third engineer on Storviken, a tanker managed by Wallem, says: “Fuel tests are like taking an X-ray of a suspected fracture. They give you a detailed picture of a fuel’s makeup, which enables you to make an accurate diagnosis to prevent things like clogged filters or component wear.” Because remedial actions are based on the outcomes of these analyses, it is paramount, she stresses, that proper procedures are followed when taking the bunker sample, as a non-representative sample could skew the results.
Standard procedures taken onboard to preserve fuel quality include settling, draining, separation, heating and filtration (see box). Some of these measures have been adapted in response to IMO’s global sulphur cap, which entered into force at the beginning of this year. For example, as low sulphur fuels often show elevated levels of aluminium and silica, the settling and service tanks need to be drained more frequently.
IMO 2020 PREPARATION Wallem’s groundwork for the Sulphur cap begun in 2018 with the launch of an internal taskforce. One of its early assignments, recalls Gavin Dsouza, Fleet Manager, Wallem Group, was to produce a whitepaper targeted at a mixed internal and external audience describing the background to the regulations and the anticipated impacts and explaining the options for compliance. The hard work really begun when the team set about creating a Ship Implementation Plan (SIP) which would be applicable to all affected vessels across the Wallem fleet to help crew ready themselves and their ship for the changes ahead. For Gavin, IMO 2020 stands out as one of the biggest turning points for the industry in recent memory. “In the run-up, there was a lot of uncertainty and lots of questions asked about how the industry would cope. With so many what-ifs and unknowns, it
was impossible to arrive at definitive answers ahead of time, but we knew 360-degree preparation was imperative to mitigating the impact come 1 January 2020.” The SIP covers a lot of ground. It deals with fuel oil system modifications, tank cleaning, fuel oil segregation capability, procurement procedures, changeover plans (documentation and reporting), fuel oil non-availability reports (FONARs) among other topics – all of which need to be considered during the risk assessment and when compiling subsequent mitigation plan. As the clock counted down towards the entry date, the taskforce shifted its attention to developing a training program geared towards the engineers at sea who would be responsible for implementing these actions and ensuring vessels would follow the new requirements.
contaminants. Other precautions include: 1) operating separators in parallel with minimum flow rate and reducing the interval between sludge discharges; 2) avoiding any mixing of fuels in storage tanks; 3) testing engine functions at regular intervals when waiting for berthing; and 4) occasional running on gas oil to clean deposit build up during sea passage. It will take time for the shipping industry to fully familiarise itself to running on low-sulphur fuel. In the short-term, teething problems are to be expected as different stakeholders in the supplychain gain their first practical experience dealing with the new product. The procedures and best-practice introduced by Wallem have been designed to help crew handle fuel – whatever its quality – adeptly and safely.
THE ROAD AHEAD In the few months since the new regulations came into force, a number of non-Wallem vessels have experienced problems relating to the variable quality of VLSFO, Gavin Dsouza reports. He adds: “It confirms our view that additional tests are vital to identifying any performance issues with newly bunkered fuel so that potential problems can be averted.” It is important crew pay close attention to any operational advice listed in fuel quality reports, he says, as this will determine the treatment approach and minimise the adverse effects of
Fuel tests are like taking an X-ray of a suspected fracture
STANDARD FUEL TREATMENT PROCEDURES
COLLECT EVIDENCE IF TROUBLE STRIKES
Settling: Separation in the tanks by gravity at correct temperature to allow water and sludge to settle at the bottom
If a fuel is causing engine problems or otherwise endangering the ship, its crew or the environment, it is important to collect as much evidence in as much detail as possible. Wallem advises: • Taking additional samples from fuel system typically before and after separator and especially at engine inlet • Taking sludge samples from filters and/or separators • Taking photographs of affected component to support written descriptions of any engine problems experienced • If possible, retaining affected components so they can be examined by experts carrying out the investigation and root cause analysis
Draining: Frequent draining of settling and service tank is vital to reduce amount of water, sludges and other components of fuel, such as aluminium or silica, which can’t be removed during separation Separation: The purifier and clarifier separate liquids of different of densities and solid particles Heating: Maintaining correct temperature to achieve effective separation, then to achieve correct viscosity of fuel before engine Filtration: Initial filtration takes place when the fuel is transferred from storage to settling. Any fine particles remaining in the fuel after separation are filtered in a secondary round using the auto backwash filter (10-12 micron mesh) before it enters the engine.
COVER S TORY
On HIGH ALERT in West Africa As attacks by pirates become more frequent off the coast of West Africa, Pulse investigates their impact and methods and looks at how Wallem is responding to ensure the safety of its seafarers On 3 December 2019, ten pirates armed with automatic rifles, guns, knives and axes boarded a tanker underway in Nigerian territorial waters. They quickly rounded up 19 crew members. Seven were able to evade capture and later managed to sail the tanker out of danger. However, the kidnapped crew members were held for almost three weeks until released by their captors four days before Christmas. On 15 December 2019, six heavily armed pirates boarded a product tanker underway in international waters off Togo. They set about disabling the vessel by destroying equipment to cause a blackout. A distress call was sent during the melee, but the crew of 20 were eventually overpowered and taken hostage. By the time a Togo Navy vessel arrived on the scene, the pirates had fled and taken the crew with them, leaving the tanker abandoned. It was a month before the owners reported the crew’s release – although one of the hostages had died due to illness during the ordeal. On 30 December 2019 six armed pirates clambered on to a product tanker anchored in territorial waters off Cameroon. The crew managed to raise the alert, but soon after were physically restrained by the attackers, who proceeded to ransack the vessel, grabbing cash and whatever other valuables they could find. On leaving the vessel with their haul, the pirates took eight crew members hostage – as insurance – eventually letting them go three weeks later.
A GROWING PROBLEM The common thread linking these incidents is location: they all happened in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG). According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Pirate Reporting Centre (PRC), 121 crew were kidnapped in the region in 2019, compared to 78 in 2018. Today, the region accounts for a staggering 90% of kidnappings globally. The spike in activity occurred against a backdrop of global decline in attacks on vessels: in 2019 there were 162 incidents compared to 201 in 2018 – a drop of some 20%. Piracy in the region is increasing for a number of reasons. On top of political and economic instability, corruption is rife, law and order are poorly enforced and poverty is widespread. Youth unemployment is also unusually high. With little in the way of
opportunity on land, embarking on a career as a pirate can be attractive and – with high vessel traffic in the area – potentially lucrative. In a unique twist, the region also faces the rise of the ‘petropiracy’ encouraged by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). The militant organisation aims to disrupt oil production by overseas firms, expose exploitation and oppression, and ‘re-appropriate wealth for the people’. In some ways, West Africa’s emergence as the world’s piracy hotspot highlights actions taken to address similar circumstances elsewhere. The Somali coastline was once notorious for hijackings and robberies but, having peaked in 2011, incidents have fallen away. The decline coincides with strong efforts to change attitudes towards piracy in the local population, building legal capacity to bring captured pirates to trial and the deterrent effect of firm multinational naval action.
WHAT IS THE PIRATES’ MODUS OPERANDI? Approaches are typically made by high-power speedboats. While the use of motherships is not widespread, there is evidence of small cargo ships and fishing ships being hijacked expressly to launch attacks against larger merchant ships. The risk of an attack is higher when a ship is at anchor or is drifting off a port waiting for a pilot. Vessels moored alongside each other for ship-to-ship cargo operations are especially vulnerable. While most pirates are selective about which type of ships they target, those operating in the Gulf are generally not overly choosey about their victims. Neither are they afraid to venture out of coastal waters in search of possible targets: two of the incidents described above took place more than 100 nautical miles from shore.
HOW IS WALLEM RESPONDING? However ships aren’t entirely powerless against pirate attacks. There are many measures that can be employed to deter
attacks, many of which are catalogued in BMP5 â€“ a guide to â€˜best management practicesâ€™ now in its fifth edition jointly authored by BIMCO, the International Chamber of Shipping, INTERTANKO, OCIMF and the International Group of P&I Clubs. Building on these basic recommendations, Wallem ensures that the vessels it manages are hardened with physical antipiracy security measures such as chain-link fences and razor wire around the whole vessel - including the life-boats which pirates are aware can often be less well defended. These measures are verified and signed-off by the Ship and Company Security Officers (SSO and CSO). Wallem-managed ships that are due to transit high-risk areas (HRA) are equipped with a toolkit including torch lights, Iridium phones, bulletproof vests and helmets, night-vision binoculars, additional pyrotechnics, and aluminium plates. A ship and voyage-specific risk assessment must be carried out before entering the area to decide on prevention, mitigation and recovery actions. The Master then briefs the crew on these measures and crew participate in a full security drill including a citadel lock down exercise, during which the Iridium phone is tested with a call to the CSO. Numbers for the Lagos Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (RMRCC), MDAT-GOG (see box) are also double checked. Outside work is limited to the absolute essentials and maintenance of engines and associated equipment is restricted so that power is immediately available for evasive manoeuvres or escape. Vessels must make situation reports to the CSO on a daily basis. Whenever any suspicious activity or attack is reported in the region, Wallem alerts vessels in the vicinity. Based on the latest threat assessment and liaison with the charterer/owner, armed escorts or private security is arranged for a vessel entering/leaving or carrying out STS operations in Nigerian and Togolese waters. Even unarmed security contractors can be beneficial for interfacing and coordinating with regional law enforcement agencies, naval forces and coast guards. The latest local advisories and guidelines are requested in advance of calling on ports in known piracy hotspots. wmaal lge.m maxim c .oc.oz m a
COVER S TORY
WHAT CAN CREW DO? Wallem urges all of its seafarers to treat emergency and security drills with the seriousness they deserve. If sailing in an HRA, use radar on long range scanning and keep sharp lookout. Maintain a constant watch for mother vessels and small crafts such as fishing boats, which could be used for mounting attacks on merchant ships away from the coastline. When drifting, regularly change position so that vessel behaviour is not predictable. Seafarers are also encouraged to come forward with ideas for improving onboard security.
There are many measures that can be employed to deter attack
WHAT IS MDAT-GOG? A 24/7 service operated jointly by the French and UK navies, MDAT-GoG (short for ‘Marine Domain Awareness for Trade – Gulf of Guinea’) acts as a hub for receiving and collating reports of incidents, sightings or other intelligence from around the region. This information is dissected by a team of military experts to build a detailed picture and spot any patterns for unlawful or irregular activity in the waters off Africa’s western seaboard. Based on the analysis, the team prepare and distribute regular updates and guidance to commercial ships operating in the region to help them stay out of trouble. Vessels operating in the Voluntary Reporting Area (VRA, shown on Admiralty Chart Q6114) are encouraged to support these efforts by regularly reporting their positions. ∎
BASSnet remains on course
Less than a year since it was first announced, the groundwork for Wallem’s new fleet management system, BASSNet, is mostly complete. Sea trials and training workshops for super-users are now underway, as date for full deployment nears
ASSnet will be phased in gradually with trials on three vessels – a crude/oil products tanker and two vehicles – in the second quarter paving the way for implementation across the whole fleet. The project team spent the closing weeks of 2019 absorbing itself in setting up the planned maintenance databases for the three pilot vessels. This represented a critical stage in the project, since the goal was to create a standardised structure that would cope with all ships in the Wallem managed fleet. The team also revamped the chart of accounts with the aim of making it more granular. This will enable more detailed comparisons and analysis of actual and budgeted costs, and allow greater transparency in reporting to vessel owners. Abhijit Ghosh, Project Director, told Pulse that the pilot roll-out serves as a beta-test. “It gives the team an opportunity to uncover any deficiencies or fix any bugs before we begin deploying the system more widely. It ensures that the proposed processes and procedures are thoroughly tested and scalable,” he explained. “The feedback gathered and experience gained from the sea-trials is vital from a risk mitigation perspective.” Wallem is also linking BASSnet up with the company’s other software with a view to harnessing ‘Big Data’ across Wallem’s business process and reducing administrative burden. Initially
this will see automation of the invoices register and procurement management process and integration with COMPAS – the crew management software used by Wallem seafarers. In January, a group of 38 superusers and trainers were selected for a series of workshops in Hong Kong to get the first taste of the configured system. In a keynote address to welcome the group, Wallem CEO Frank Coles reiterated the impetus behind the project. “It’s Wallem’s attempt to modernise the maritime industry,” he said. Ben Shao, Head of Learning and Development said the workshops were organized to “make sure our trainers fully understand the benefits of BASSnet as an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform and how it’s going to change the game. The sessions were designed to let participants get hands-on and learn their way around the system so that they can pass this on to our seafarers.” Johan Gustafsson, Chief Operating Officer, commented: “This is an ambitious project. Wallem is building one of the most sophisticated ERP platforms ever implemented by a ship management company. Implementing the complete suite of applications from BASSnet and integrating it with other software will allow us to deliver a level of transparency over ship operations that is unprecedented in the industry”. ∎
WFOM dispatches: Ukraine and China Fleet Officer Meetings (FOMs) give Wallem seafarers and shore-based team a platform to exchange ideas and debate shared challenges in an open atmosphere. FOMs recently took place in Odessa, Ukraine and Qingdao, China. Although separated by more than 7,000km, the officers who took part were united by a common belief in ‘working together as ONE Wallem’ and their desire for the shipping industry to move into the modern age. Here are a selection of stand-out quotes:
“One Wallem to me is about taking the best ideas in safety systems, training, communications, etc., and make them work together as a complete solution”. Heorhii Kosivtsov, Third Officer
“One Wallem means transparent collaboration between ship and shore, working together to deliver world-class customer service with the highest safety standards. It’s not only about embracing new technologies, but changing our attitude”. Eldar Gasanov, Fourth Engineer
“One Wallem for me is being open-minded to new ideas and technologies, and supporting each other”. Viktor Vorontsov, Third Officer
“Teamwork and proper communication are vital for achieving positive results in implementing standardisation and digitalisation”. Capt. Song Bin, Master
“One Wallem is one team, one goal, one responsibility”. Roman Loza, Engine Cadet
“In ONE Wallem we work together. We maintain good communication with the shore team, and we are not afraid of giving feedback”. Ning Yu, Chief Officer
“Safety Culture is the soul of ONE Wallem. To maintain and improve our safety culture, our industry needs to abandon some traditional practices not suited for shipping in today’s modern world”. Capt. Song Bin, Master
“Modernising shipping is not simply adding technology. It requires the shipping industry to have the courage to leave the past behind”. Lang Shuo, Third Officer
“We need to advance with the times, constantly improving and updating our knowledge and skills, and consider the interest of shipowners. We must be ready to meet every challenge”. Zheng Feng, Second Officer
â€œWe work as a team and strive for a common goal to achieve more professional operations, enhance communications and improve work efficiency. Wu Tao, Second Engineer
A PLASTIC ODYSSEY Wallem Agency Services supported Race for Water Odyssey when it stopped in Hong Kong last October. Pulse spoke to the vessel’s captain, Jean-Marc Normant, and the project’s executive director, Franck David, to find out more about the mission.
he world’s oceans provide a home for a wealth of marine wildlife but these delicate ecosystems are under threat from plastic and other manmade pollution. The problem requires a global response. But first, we have to understand the scale of the problem, raise awareness, and educate people on the harm waste does to the marine environment. With these aims in mind, ten years ago Swiss engineer-entrepreneur and keen sailor Marco Simeoni created the Race for Water Foundation. An initial scientific expedition in 2015 to five gyres – swirling vortexes where minute particles of plastic accumulate due to ocean currents – to assess the debris affirmed what Simeoni had long suspected: “What’s on the surface represents less than 1% of the plastics in the ocean, so collecting it at sea is a pipedream. After plastic has entered the ocean, it’s too late. The solution is on land.” This insight set the course for a second expedition – a five-year circumnavigation of the globe aboard the Race4Water Odyssey, a 31-metre long catamaran powered entirely by renewable energy in the form of solar panels and kite sails and a hydrogen-based fuel-cell, which stores any surplus energy so it can be discharged to propel the boat at night or if the winds drop. Resident on the Odyssey full time are the vessel’s captain, Jean-Marc Normant (JN), the project’s executive director, Franck David (FD), and four other crew. They are sometimes joined by small groups of scientists carrying out research, or journalists and photographers hopping aboard to document the project. But it’s not all sailing. With 38 planned stopovers along the route half their time is
spent ashore engaging with schoolchildren, the general public, industries and local authorities. The focus has shifted to working in partnership with coastal communities to come up with ways of preventing plastic reaching the ocean in the first place. Pulse caught up with the Odyssey on its 22nd stopover, in Hong Kong, where Wallem Agency Services provided full assistance – seeing to vessel clearances, replenishing supplies, replacing equipment, and arranging some minor repairs. What was your scariest moment? “During the Atlantic crossing, we were caught in a large storm, but the leg from Lima, Peru to Valparaíso, Chile was frightening for the opposite reason. Unbroken cloud meant the solar panels generated little power, and the wind and currents were both against us. We were literally powerless against the elements.” (JN) What’s it like sailing on a renewable vessel? “You are constantly thinking about power and ways of conserving it. The boat originally used
We have responsibility to future generations to act now, to change the way industry operates and our behaviour as consumers
lithium batteries – larger version of those found in laptops or smartphones – to store power, but we replaced them with a fuel-cell. The problem with chemical batteries is that they are hard to recycle responsibly. The hydrogen fuelcell is a better solution for our needs, as it is cleaner and stores four times the energy.” (JN) What’s the most unexpected waste you’ve seen? “One day I saw what I thought was a dolphin leaping from the water in the distance, but disappointingly it was a case of mistaken identity. As we approached, it turned out to be a huge balloon shaped like a duck.” (JN) “What most shocked me was a biopsy of a turtle. When the scientists opened up the stomach, it was overflowing with plastic. It’s a sight you don’t easily forget.” (FD) What have you learned from your research? “Microplastics are everywhere and in everything. It’s in the water, in corals and inside fish and from there it gets into other wildlife. Even if we stopped any more plastic entering the ocean tomorrow, it will take decades, possibly centuries, for the ecosystem to fully recover.” (FD) “But if we continue as we are, the likelihood of irreparable damage increases and then the oceans will never recover. This is why we have responsibility
to future generations to act now, to change the way industry operates and our behaviour as consumers.” (JN) What most shocked you and why? “A hurricane hit during our stopover in the Dominican Republic. The wind and torrential rain washed large amounts of plastic and other waste into the ocean. Seeing that made me truly realise the magnitude of the problem we’re up against.” (JN) “Some of the worst pollution we’ve seen was in Malaysia, where waste was piled up next to small coastal villages, because they have no other option. There is no formal waste management to speak of. So while education is important, bringing about lasting change will inevitably require money. We cannot delude ourselves and ignore the costs of collecting, separating, cleaning and preparing it for effective recycling.” (FD) Do you use plastic on board? “Of course we do. It’s a marvellous material that has many useful qualities and, in some cases, cannot be beaten. But we are assiduous in always making the most out of it.” (JN) “What we despise and do our absolute utmost to avoid is single-use plastic, for example in the packaging for food and other supplies arriving on the boat.” (FD) Do you have any tips for Wallem staff who want to reduce their plastic footprint? “Whether you’re shore-based or working at sea, we all have the power to make a difference. We have to learn to consume differently. The first step is to pay attention: notice what products are made of and what packaging is used and ask yourself if there is a better option next time. If you don’t make the purchasing decision, you can still make your views known to those who do. Lots of small steps add up to big change.” (FD) ∎