The event, organized by SAFETY4SEA, was sponsored by PANASIA, SQEMARINE as the lead speakers and also Diaplous Maritime Services, ERMA FIRST, Green Jakobsen, Hudson Analytix, Marshall Islands Registry, North P&I Club, RISK4SEA, The Standard P&I Club and T&T SALVAGE. Furthermore, the event was supported by Green Award Foundation, IMAREST, International Windship Association (IWSA), MPA Singapore, Sailors’ Society, Singapore Maritime Institute, Singapore Shipping Enterprises (SSE) and World LPG Association.

The pro bono event brought together global experts who held a wide-ranging discussion on strategies toward 2020, ballast water management implementation and QHSE aspects, highlighting challenges and strategies for compliance. The looming 2020 global sulphur cap and IMO’s ambitious emission reduction targets were among the topical issues of the agenda for which experts expressed their views and addressed ways to tackle these game-changing issues. Moreover, speakers of last panel held an open dialogue on safety topics referring to key market challenges, providing advice on how to comply with requirements and mitigate risks.


Panel # 1 – IMO 2020

 During his presentation, Mr. Alvin Looi, Director (FD&D), The North of England P&I Association Limited, focused on the implications of 2020 sulphur cap regulation from an insurer’s perspective, sharing feedback from the Club’s experience on the challenges being faced through certain compliance methods for charterparties and commercial agreements.

On his turn, Mr. Sean Hutchings, Chief Technical Officer, Thome Group of Companies, discussed what are the key environmental fuel options for operators to achieve compliance with the upcoming 2020 sulphur cap and shared his experience on the hidden challenges surrounding each choice.

Mr. Justin (Ji-heon) Bae, Team Manager / Marketing Team, Panasia, emphasized on the current market trend of scrubbers ahead the IMO’s 2020 sulphur regulation, noting that the spread might be bigger when reaching 2020 through 2025 and, if CAPEX payback is guarantee within a couple of years, it should be good deal for the ship owner.


Panel # 2 – Ballast Water Management

 Mr. Brian (Bong-jun) Kwak, Sales Manager / Marketing Team, Panasia, discussed market situation on BWTS that shows slow movement on retrofitting the system, despite the two-year push back decided at MEPC 71. By presenting time-frame for annual installation prediction, he underlined the seriousness of taking slow action due to concentration in 2022 and 2023.

 Mr. Andreas Kokkotos, Partner, Argonavis, shared tips on the effective management of a BWTS retrofit, noting that this takes careful planning and communication to make a project to succeed. As such, he cited what are the key steps for operators to reduce costs without affecting the quality, as well as what they should not do to reduce retrofit costs.


Panel # 3 – Safety at Sea  

Based on statistics provided by the [email protected] Singapore Campaign, Mr. David Foo, Director (Port Systems), MPA Singapore, revealed that human element remains a major concern for safety and he provided an update on the ongoing efforts to address the human element, as well as share new initiatives and ideas on how MPA seeks to address the issue.

Mr. Gavin Lim, Regional Development Manager – Asia, Sailors’ Society, shared his insight for the association’s Wellness at Sea Programme. Traditionally, he argued, the industry thought of seafarers as only ‘occupational’ human beings, but the current definition of wellness looks at the human being’s holistic nature.

Capt. Siddharth Kumar, Global Training Manager, Green Jakobsen, discussed the importance of involving the entire organisation when companies want to improve people’s performance. Organizations, he noted, must look for creating the possibilities for new learning process and various departments should contribute to that process including HR, Crewing, Training, HSQE, Technical, etc.

The first SAFETY4SEA Conference in Singapore concluded successfully in 29 November.

Panel # 4 – Best Practices & Lessons Learned

Mr. Reji Joseph, Marine HR Manager, Wallem Ship Management, Singapore, shared best practices from the company’s strategy aiming to achieve safety and operational excellence beyond compliance. The focus is on wellbeing for seafarers, with increased sense of belonging and increased engagement between ship & shore that led to a significant reduction in the number of incidents.

Mr. Richard Dias, Regional Technical Manager for International Registries (Far East) Limited, talked about PSC from a flag State perspective, noting that there is a balance between the flag State’s role of providing service and enforcing regulations. He also discussed how the RMI’s mission, from a regulatory perspective, includes quality, compliance, and value.

At his presentation, Mr. Apostolos Belokas, Managing Editor, SAFETY4SEA, cited the five steps to benchmark any fleet, port and organization. Benchmarks, he noted, may be used successfully to identify gaps between ports, ships, companies and countries, but the approach to be used needs a fresh look, to emphasize specifically on what to do to prepare for minimizing future risks.


Panel # 5 –  Loss prevention

Capt. Yves Vandenborn, Director of Loss Prevention, The Standard Club, talked about one specific aspect of human element in maritime casualties: Seafarers’ resilience, he noted, can be improved through enhanced training regimes focused on realism, emphasis on experience, as well as changes to how an organization functions.

Mr. Lee Hiok Liang, Naval Architect, T&T Salvage, shared lessons learned from real-life bulk cargo liquefaction accidents, stressing that, apart from transportable moisture limit, sea condition is the other closely related critical parameter that causes high humidity cargoes to be unstable, more liable in rough sea for cargo shifting and consequential ship capsizing.

At his speech, Mr. Dimitris Maniatis, Chief Commercial Officer at Diaplous, provided a recap of the current maritime security status, in the Indian Ocean Region, in the Gulf of Aden and Bab Al Mandeb, in the Gulf of Guinea and other high-risk areas. Mr. Maniatis stressed that there are always ways to successfully mitigate risk, deter threat and avoid loss.


Panel # 6 –  QHSE Discussion and debate on key market challenges

Concluding the first SAFETY4SEA Conference in Singapore, a panel roundtable discussion - held by Mr. Arthur Martin, HSQEEn Manager, Goodwood Ship Management Pte Ltd, Capt. Sachin Singh, Alternate DPA / CSO, Fleet Ship Management Singapore Pte. Ltd, and Mr. Himadri Shikhar Ghosh, Group Head, Compliance, Training & Development, MSI Ship Management Pte Ltd, Singapore - emphasized on key market challenges surrounding Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) for Organizations, with a variety of themes including health and safety of employees, crew manning, the new approach on safety culture, organizational performance, training and compliance issues.


All sessions ended with a round table discussion in which the audience exchanged ideas with high level experts of international repute on technological developments. Finally, Apostolos Belokas as the Forum Chairman thanked the delegates for their participation, the sponsors and supporters for their support and the speakers for their excellent presentations and also the organizing team of the event for their contribution towards forum objectives.