ABS: Next-generation marine fuels call for ‘very significant change’ in crew training

ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki has argued that the ‘dynamic’ nature of the ‘next-generation’ marine fuels ‘means a very significant change is coming in terms of crew training’.

Delivering a keynote address to the Shipping Insight 20/20 conference, Wiernicki said: ‘In all likelihood, the fleet of the future will be fuelled by a variety of choices, including oil, that will be selected depending on the owner’s operational preferences.

‘The next-generation fuels making up that variety of choices are primarily dynamic in nature, meaning they tend to change state over the course of a voyage or during storage. LNG, which boils off underway, is an example.

‘That means a very significant change is coming in terms of crew training. Right now, handling dynamic fuels is for specialists only. But as these fuels grow in adoption and application, it is likely that all crew members will need to become specialists and receive the appropriate skill sets and safety training. Remember that whatever we build, whatever we invent, whatever we put in place, none of it will work without properly trained and educated crew, operating in a safety-first atmosphere.’

Wiernicki added that it is likely that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will have to update the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) in order to ‘account for the many challenges presented by alternate fuels and other new technologies’.

Ian Taylor

Ian Taylor