Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Free admission to marine engineering exhibitors at Maritech

Just came back from Victoria, taking a break from my husband and father duties while on my days off the ship. I am attempting to complete laying new flooring in our little house, easy enough to do, but you have to budget a considerable amount of time chasing the piece and tools from the three little helpers. ehehehe, its a whole different story.

The bulk of my "work brain time" has been dedicated to the organizing committee of the Maritech conference. In our weekly Victoria meeting today, the committee learned that the conference is nearly sold out and pretty much all the major details are sorted out. So thats a great development. There is always worry, for unknown reasons, that things may not work out, but it looks like it's going to be a very popular and exciting event.

We are opening the exhibition space to all maritime related visitors, free of charge. So please take advantage of this offer, and come visit the exhibition space of the Maritech 2011, marine engineering conference in Victoria, late next week. You wont be able to see the technical papers being presented, or attend the various catered meals but hey, there is no better way to connect to the movers and shakers in industry than at these events.

Hope to see you then. ...and oh yeah. Go Canucks, GO !

Monday, April 11, 2011

Maritech 2011 - Marine Engineering conference and exhibition

Just announced a few days ago...

Agenda for MARI-TECH 2011
Canada’s National Marine Exhibition & Conference
A Vision of Canada's Marine Industry in the year 2020

Presented by the Canadian Institute of Marine Engineering (CIMarE), Vancouver Island Branch
May 5th and 6th, at the Ocean Point Resort in downtown Victoria, BC, Canada

Sponsored by

Lloyd's Register
BC Ferries
BMT Fleet Technologies
Babcock Canada
Marine & Offshore Canada
Western Mariner Magazine
Martin's Marine Engineering Page - www.dieselduck.net

DAY 1 - Thursday, May 5th, 2011

0800 - Registration – Coffee & Pastries
Master of Ceremonies - Mark Collins – Vice President Engineering – BC Ferries
0830 - Mari-Tech Chairman John Marrack – Welcome
0845 - Opening Address from Vice Admiral [retired] Peter Cairns – Honourary President CIMarE, President Shipbuilding Association of Canada
0915 - Paper #1 – Future Marine – Jack Cornett - Defence Research & Development Canada - A visionary analysis of marine engineering and science in the future.
1000 - Coffee Break in Exhibition Rooms
1030 - Paper #2 – Canadian Coast Guard Vessel Procurement
1115 - Paper #3 - MAN Diesel & Turbo – Dr. Dirk Thum - The Sulphur Challenge – Technology for Energy
1200 - Lunch in Harbour Room – Lunchtime speaker Rear Admiral Nigel Greenwood – Commander Maritime Forces Pacific
1300 - Paper #4 – Jeff Smith - Emerging role and increasing responsibilities of classification societies in Canada’s maritime industry.
1345 - Paper #5 – BC Ferries – Greg Peterson - A strategic approach to operating a marine transportation company within the environmental boundaries of 2020 and beyond.
1430 - Coffee in Exhibition Rooms
1500 - Paper #6 - Converteam - Gene Joelson – Inovelis Pump Jet Pod.
1545 - Reception with No-Host Bar
1800 - Bus departs for special event – wine tasting and dinner at the Church and State Winery in Brentwood Bay – After dinner, Babcock Canada will be giving a presentation on the moving of a submarine, by heavy lift ship, from the East Coast, to the West Coast.

DAY 2 - Friday, May 6th, 2011

0800 - Coffee and light breakfast
0830 - Paper #8 - STX - Tony Vollmers and Dan McGreer - A comparison study between propulsion options from conventional to alternative, green propulsion systems.
0915 - Two short papers by students from BCIT Marine Campus
1000 - Coffee in Exhibition Rooms
1030 - Paper #9 - Corvus Energy - Ron Burchett - Hybrid Ferry Concepts.
1115 - Paper #10 - Wartsila North America - Mark Keneford – The Hercules Project.
1200 - Buffet Lunch in Conference Room – lunchtime speaker Assistant Commissioner Vija Poruks - Canadian Coast Guard Pacific Region
1300 - Annual General Meeting Canadian Institute of Marine Engineering
1400 - Paper #11 - BMT Fleet Technology - David Stocks - Hybrid Propulsion incorporating Fuel Cells.
1445 - Paper #12 - Turmot Inc. - Bernd Graffunder – Lasting solutions fighting rust, lime, scale and microbiological problems in water bearing systems using methods developed by MERUS GmbH
1530 - Coffee in Exhibition Rooms
1600 - Paper #13 - AKA - Paul Jamer - The “ECO-nomics” of Modern Propulsion Systems (Hybrid Propulsion).
1645 - Closing Remarks followed by a Reception with No-Host Bar

In the Exhibition Hall, the following companies will be there to meet you, and introduce their products and services...

Young and Cunningham Canada Inc
Babcock Canada
Jastram Technologies Ltd.
Wartsila Canada
MAN Diesel & Turbo Canada
Alfa Laval Inc.
Roper Resources Ltd.
Konsberg Maritime
ABB Canada
Sperry Marine Canada
Pol-E-Mar Inc.
BC Shipping News
Thordon Bearings Inc.
ABC Diesel NV

Please visit the official Maritech 2011 website for further details, registration, and sponsorship information.

Friday, April 08, 2011

E is for "damn, thats big"

This is not news anymore, but it is still pretty darn awe inspiring. Maersk placed an order for 10 copies of their new class of ships, the Triple E. The ships are massive cargo movers; with a capacity for 18,000 teu. The biggest cargo ships afloat; bigger ships have been built, namely tankers, but very few are still in service.

With twin propulsion plants, they are designed for slow steaming, using two 43,000 HP slow speed MAN engines. The new ship will significantly dwarf Maersk's previous ship class, the E Class, with its class leader, the famous Emma Maersk.

The ships are to be built by Korean builder, Daewoo. The triple E title stands for Efficiency, Economy of scales, Environmentally friendly, of course at 1.9 billion contract, you may add a fourth "E" for Expensive - or perhaps an "O" for ouch ! Sure they are a really big ship, but still, that's a hell of check to write. The ABS classed ships are predicted to enter service, the first in 2013, with the tenth in 2015.

You can visit Maersk official site on the ship here. Wikipedia's article is here.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Got ORB issues?

Well, we are now operational, marauding the brown waters of the St Lawrence, after the usual rough start, to be expected after a long and clingy winter, we expect to load our first cargo of the season, tonight at the refinery. So it is now time to settle into the operational routine. One of those operational things is the maintenance of the oil record book (ORB).

We are all familiar with the criminalization of seafarers, all over the world, in particular with respect of this fine shipboard document, known as the Oil Record Book (ORB). For many years now, headlines read how this “hero caught this guy dumping oil into the sea” and such... What it usually means, is that a discrepancy exists in the ORB, which would suggest a possible pollution incident; not necessarily the action of dumping a pollutants overboard. Another words, successful prosecution are based on the Oil Record Book, and how it was falsified, in the assumed dumping of oily waste overboard.

Therefore seafarers, generally engineers, are parade as villains and hazards to humanity. With the resulting heavy handed penalties levied to the seafarer, and the ship owners - detentions, prison, probation, fines, and so on and so forth. Well of course, this depends on where you’re from, and whom you work for…

There is obviously a fair bit of monkey business going on, there is no denying that. The economic pressures are ever present, and some people somehow feel it necessary to pollute, and this is not acceptable as a society.

I felt compelled to write this entry, after reading one of our company's newest directive, and let out a sizable groan. Then there is also Transport Canada's new ORB instructions, all based on the guidance issued by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) – the worldwide regulating body of the marine industry - in their MEPC 1/Circ 736 bulletin, dated November 8th, 2010. This guidance bulletin is about the adopted changes in regulations, to the way shipboard operation with oil, and its by-products, are recorded vis a vis MARPOL.

The directive discusses the new changes adopted in October 2010, coming into force January 2011. Yes, bureaucracy suddenly moves pretty quick, so quick in fact that Transport Canada has not had a chance to print up new, official ORB, so the office tells me. In its place, they asked me to print some pages off my printer, and start using it as official logbook. Yes, can you imagine the look I would get, presenting a bunch of loose pages with scribble on it concerning oily waste, hell; I may as well just walk down to the gas chamber right now, and make it easy on everyone.

But I digress; I am not sure who came up with this stuff and the reason or background for this, but as I see it, they may as well print up a bulls eye on the neat "Year of the Seafarer" logo, because with all these tedious entry requirements, and the numerous possibilities for a mistake to be made, it is almost certainly akin to presenting a nice big chunk of juicy steak to a rabid hungry dog.

You know these rabid dogs, no, no, not the border people, the other cowboys, harmed to the teeth looking to be "hero", who already don’t hesitate to capitalize on simple mistakes. Hell, our internal auditors give me shit for the way the date was written: “not "March 28, 2011" but rather "28-Mar-2011" he tells me”.

I stand behind what I do and I have a reputation of being a little "earthly" to start with, you know us, "West Coasters" and our tree hugging reputation - which I don’t mind. Nevertheless, I am always uncomfortable dealing with this document, because history shows it's a nice easy way for "regulators" to get "trophies". Luckily for me, on this boat, we actually have very few processes, since we are a small boat, and land our waste. But I feel sorry for the poor schmuck, trying to explain his error in the official ORB, and having to understand these tedious regs, with a limited grasp of the English language to start with. With these new requirements, now in force, the inspector's job is getting easier to exercise their authority at whim; so I suggest you take special care when filling out the ORB. In some shady ports, already plague by deceitful regulator practices, you'd better request some extra cash or ample supply of Johnny Walker, because these things are going to push the thorn in our side a lot deeper.

I feel a bit jaded about these added regulations upon regulations on the shipping industry, more evident if you sail muddy waters like I am currently doing – competing with other forms of transportation. If governments are really concern about pollution, and they should be, please be balanced with the whole transportation sector.

While we watch our every move on board, fearing for incarceration and legal action at every turn, do you think the train engineer worries about the water running off his train. Does he walk the entire train, taking rain water samples for testing, after capturing it (VGP) and filling out a logbook weekly, does he catch all the drips of oil, record it every week and safely dispose of it at an approved facility. Are pilots held responsible for the handling of the fuel they take on, keeping samples on board and logging every drop into which tank (apart from the need to know your capability of getting there) they in the end, are the most prolific air polluters by ton of cargo moved. Same goes for the truckers.

Stringent regulation with a meaningful purpose, equally applied across sectors, is to be championed. I realize that ships move the large majority of the world’s cargo, remarkably, safely and by far the most efficient way, and therefore already with the lowest environmental footprint, so I guess that’s why its an easy target.

But we must have some common sense already! If there is such a fear of oil getting loose in the environment, then why not make it easy for ships to discharge their sludge or slops ashore. Ports were mandated to beef up all kinds of security measures, why can’t they be mandated to supply basic necessities of ships operations, clean potable water, solid and liquid waste infrastructure. It always ends up to the ship owner, and they in turn drill down on the crew; then everybody shrugs their shoulders when trying to explain the worldwide shortage of competent crew.

Happy Year of the seafarer to you; thanks for the new gifts, IMO. Anyways, I will step down from my soapbox now, but please have a look at the IMO bulletin for your own good.