SAFETY4SEA: Your organization has been shortlisted for the 2019 GREEN4SEA Awards in the ‘Initiative’ category alongside a number of other distinguished nominees. What would you like to share with industry’s stakeholders with respect to this development?
Panos Yannoulis: We are very proud for the nomination. It is a privilege to be nominated for such a prestigious award category alongside important and distinguished nominees. In our short one-year history we have conveyed our clear message to the industry that we are among the early movers who will support the future of Sustainable Shipping and Green Energy. By this nomination our efforts are recognized, we thank for the nomination and support from all stakeholders. It is important to address that we are the only private company, with Greek background, among this category nominees.
S4S: How has your initiative influenced industry’s landscape? What are the key areas of attention?
P.Y.: probunkers will design, build and operate a fleet of modern, eco-friendly LNG bunkering vessels to brace the ever-changing needs of global shipping. This innovative, multimillion, global project is a game changer for the development of LNG as a fuel. LNG as a fuel has characteristics from the LNG trade landscape and traditional oil bunkering. We are bringing these different commercial worlds together to help in the development of LNG as a marine fuel. LNG is the best available alternative for complying with IMO 2020 regulations and beyond.
S4S: Do you have any new projects on the pipeline and/or plans that you would like to share with the rest of the industry?
P.Y.: As a startup it is very early to have new projects. They will come in due course like in any company that grows and expands. We are focused and committed in supporting our management team in order to advance our business plan. As we successfully concluded the first round of funding, we completed the Independent Business Review and progressing with the technical Joint Development Project with ABS we are ready to start the second-round Capital funding roadshow. We are in close contact with the relevant Governments and Port Authorities for our Bunker License. Finally, we are preparing the scope to invite technical and commercial proposals for the design and construction of our seven LNGBVs.
S4S: If you could change one thing about the shipping industry, what would it be and why?
P.Y.: The shipping industry, not only the Greek one, which of course is “leading the way”, is facing a “world of challenges”, which, if not properly addressed in time, would lead to a “perfect storm”! Need to meet requirements originating from environmental regulations, public opinion, legislation, charterers, cargo owners, port organizations, terminals, unions, shipyards, equipment manufacturers, service providers and others, which in the past affected ships and ship operations in almost different/separate ways, require a more holistic approach by the industry to be sustainable. Further to asking for a more clear and sustainable scenario for the fuel(s) to be used, where probunkers comes and offers specific answers, the shipping community should ask for and take necessary actions to achieve a harmonization of collecting and recording data, data bases, data analytics, communication, reporting and verification, cyber security, transparency of information among all stakeholders in the shipbuilding and shipping transportation chain. In their field of operation/responsibility, shipping enterprises should face these challenges by creating functions/departments/operating units within their organization having an interdisciplinary mission. For example, digitalization is not a mere IT responsibility. Also, technical management, procurement and operations are highly interdependent!
S4S: What is your key message to the industry for a more sustainable future of shipping?
P.Y.: Try to turn challenges into opportunities, for ensuring shipping remains a vital and self- controlled link in the transportation chain. Minimize the adverse effects of the present trend for “commoditization” on the importance and basic character and “nature” of this unique business field, which is very important for our country and its economy! Be pro-active, use best and reliable consultants and business associates to scrutinize incoming technologies and get ready for disrupting changes that will come, for sure, either through digitalization or by taking decisions on type of fuel to be used or other! As far as the latter is concerned, evaluate carefully the ship life potential for the adoption of LNG as marine fuel, which is the most “green” among the existing marine fuels for a sustainable shipping, on the process towards decarbonization! Balance accurately risks between being early movers or late followers!
You may cast your vote for probunkers at 2019 GREEN4SEA Awards dedicated webpage till 22nd of February 2019!
The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and not necessarily those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.