UK maritime industry leaders met to debate decarbonization, digital technologies and the important future of safety at the annual ABS UK National Committee meeting.
“ABS has deep roots in the maritime community in the UK and Ireland which means our committee is made up of industry leaders offering powerful insight on the technical and regulatory challenges facing the industry—as we harness digital technologies and innovation to meet 2030 and 2050 decarbonization objectives,” said Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and CEO, who actively participated in the Committee program.
Committee members heard how ABS is supporting the industry’s decarbonization with the ABS Low Carbon Shipping Outlook, which defines ship technologies, operational measures and alternative fuels and energy sources needed to reach 2030 and 2050 targets. 2030 targets can be met through operational efficiencies driven by connectivity and data analytics and energy efficient designs. The journey to 2050 will require fuel technologies that are beyond today’s state-of-the-art.
ABS Chief Digital Officer Howard Fireman told the Committee that the organization’s mission is not changing, yet the way ABS delivers class services is changing and the pace of change is increasing rapidly. ABS is developing condition-based programs with industry partners and moving towards predictive maintenance programs while retaining laser focus on the organization’s safety mission.
ABS continues to hold a leadership position as a global class organization in the UK and maintains a strong position in the new construction market while working with many forward-looking owners on a range of innovative projects.
The Committee heard about the industry-leading safety performance of ABS, including achieving two years without a work-related lost-time incident. The superior Port State Control performance of ABS and strong fleet safety performance underline its focus on safety and its mission. The committee also heard about the company’s strengthened commitment to Europe, with new, modern offices in the heart of the City of London.
Guest speaker Dr Andrew L Smith, SPE HSSE Directors Advisory Committee at the Society of Petroleum Engineers International, discussed how safety is managed in other industries and strategies for dealing with the challenges of increased complexity, system integration, artificial intelligence and cyber threats.
“The UK Committee brings together highly experienced figures from across the industry who are able to offer powerful insight on the many regulatory and technical challenges we face,” said Graham Westgarth, CEO of V Group and ABS UK National Committee Chairman. “The informed dialogue we have across our Committee helps guide ABS in its mission to develop solutions and services that will help us meet those challenges without compromising on safety.”
The Committee meetings are a forum for ABS members, including owners, operators, charterers, and industry representatives from flag administrations, owner associations, the shipbuilding and insurance sectors, to come together with ABS leaders and discuss industry issues and developments. They are an important part of an ongoing dialogue with industry to address technical, operational and regulatory challenges.