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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Tokyo Tanker Event – Tanker Issues … Challenges Ahead

Three diverse speakers at the Tokyo Tanker Event identified common themes for the tanker industry – and all apply irrespective of the economic climate.


1. The importance of partnership

2. The detrimental effect of criminalisation

3. No room for complacency but strive for continuous improvement


Terry Luke, Regional Marine Superintendent, Chevron (Singapore Branch)


Luke’s main messages were ‘Do it safely or not at all’ and ‘There is always time to do the right thing.’


  • The tanker industry is involved in delivering energy for its customers as a fundamental part of modern life. This is not part of the problem of protection of the environment but part of the solution. All those involved in moving oil safely, cleanly, and without incident have ‘green jobs’.

  • There should be attention on preparedness, good people with good ships, strong safety management and good managers to minimise both incidents and near misses. Prevention of incidents is important( i.e grounding/collision/fatalities) in addition to preventing pollution.

  • Criminalisation of seafarers is likely to have a serious impact of crew recruitment, livelihood and morale. Branded as criminals, crew will be discouraged from co-operating in any accident investigation process.

Dr Kong-Gyun Oh, Chairman, IACS / Chairman & CEO Korean Register


Having outlined the IACS commitments to the challenges ahead, Dr Oh identified two high-profile issues:


  • The debate on CO2 and quality, where there is pressure on industry to lower CO2 emissions in an environment where ships are required to go faster and faster for economic reasons. We must all respond with efficient ships, said Dr Oh.

  • The Poseidon Challenge – Dr Oh applauded the INTERTANKO initiative which encourages continuous improvement at all levels.

Capt Mike Watson, President, International Maritime Pilots' Association (IMPA)


Thanks to a strong relationship between IMPA and INTerTANKO via Deputy Managing Director Joe Angelo, we were fortunate enough to have Capt Watson to speak to this gathering of tanker owners and operators.


INTERTANKO and the pilots have shared interests, responsibility and concerns – too many not to co-operate, said Capt Watson.


He referred to the Pilots/INTERTANKO discussion group which has now met twice and will meet again in August this year. INTERTANKO representatives have also reviewed IMPA/APA guidelines on various issues e.g. the Master/Pilot relationship.


  • There is a shared concern for unacceptable level of engine and steering failure.

  • Criminalisation is an issue for both seafarers and pilots (cf Cosco Busan). A pilot knows that, whenever on board, a momentary lapse could have catastrophic consequences. In any casualty, IMPA lawyers now advise to assume there will be criminal charges brought against someone – more to do with politics and other extraneaous events than with culpability. We should stand together in opposition, said Capt Watson.

Contact: Michele White