Dr. John Kokarakis, Vice President, Technology & Business Development, Hellenic, Black Sea Region & Middle East, Bureau Veritas makes an assessment of the important issues that shipping faced in 2016 and wishes industry in 2017 to be adequately prepared and reinforced to face the need to comply with the plethora of new rules and regulations awaiting around the corner.
GREEN4SEA: Do you think there was a significant success and/or progress made with respect to marine environment protection during 2016? Focusing on your area of expertise, what were the most important industry developments within 2016?
John Kokarakis: During 2016 we have seen the resolution of the Ballast Water Management Convention being under ratification since 2004. The necessary conditions were fulfilled last September sending the entry into force date in September 8, 2017. This development will send to the shipyards thousands of ships over the next years but it is hampered by the lack of approved systems on the basis of the revised G8 guidelines. In addition during MEPC 70 we have seen the rebirth of new fuels. IMO has approved the global introduction of low sulphur fuel with sulphur content of 0.5% or less. Introduction of this regulation requires utilization of scrubbers, alternative fuels like LNG or use of fuel having being subject to desulphurization.
G4S: Focusing on your area of expertise, what do you think that it will be the biggest marine environmental challenge(s) for the industry for the 2017?
J.K.: Unfortunately industry and technology fail to follow the fast pace of the regulators producing a tsunami of new regulations. Public pressure and lobbying push the regulatory work way in advance of technical developments. If we have to pick a development, it appears that the proliferation of ME-GI engines and the development of LNG fueled vessels are the most important developments.
G4S: What would be the 2017 resolutions for your company/ organization? What are your goals and aspirations to enhance environmental excellence? Do you have any new projects on the pipeline and/or plans for 2017 that you would like to share?
J.K.: Bureau Veritas serves the Shipping Community through training, technical advisories on a 24/7 basis and thinking ahead of the future in order to be present when our clients need us where they need us. We keep focus on our 3-d modeling work in order to simplify and accelerate environmentally friendly ship design.
G4S: What is your overall forecast for the marine environmental developments in 2017 and what would you like to share and/or wish and/or ask other industry stakeholders?
J.K.: Regulations will keep coming during 2017, where we expect to see a competition between the global regulators of IMO with the ones of EC. For example we have parallel developments on Monitoring and Verification, on use of low sulphur fuels and ship recycling. We all wish that shipping industry will be adequately prepared and reinforced to face the need to comply with a plethora of new rules and regulations
The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and not necessarily those of GREEN4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.