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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

INTERTANKO Hellenic Forum's 4th Meeting Caps Busy Year For Tanker Association

The INTERTANKO Hellenic Forum is holding its latest meeting, the fourth since it was established at the beginning of 1997, in Athens on 9 November. Delegates will discuss issues of concern to the Forum's membership and review the considerable progress made by its parent body, the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), on behalf of all its members over the last seven months.

Members of the INTERTANKO Hellenic Forum account for 20 per cent of INTERTANKO's total membership, the largest single national interest group in the Association. In fact, the 70-plus INTERTANKO members with an office in Athens represent the largest concentration of Association membership in one location. As a result of the activities of the Hellenic Forum over the past two years, as well as the continuous efforts of its Chairman, Erric Kertsikoff of Eletson, the number of Greek INTERTANKO members has grown significantly. According to Theodore Plessas, the Secretary of the INTERTANKO Hellenic Forum, some 114 additional tankers belonging to Hellenic Forum members have joined the INTERTANKO fleet during the last three years, out of a total increase of 300 ships worldwide during the period.

Today, there are 380 tankers in the INTERTANKO fleet operated by members of the Hellenic Forum. Dragos Rauta, the Technical Manager of INTERTANKO and also the Section Manager responsible for member interests in Greece and other Eastern Mediterranean countries, states: "Although the number of Greek companies eligible to join the INTERTANKO fleet seems to be getting toward the upper limit, there is still scope to add additional tankers through potential new Forum members. In this respect, one of the primary goals of the Hellenic Forum - to promote interest in the activities of INTERTANKO in the region - has been achieved."

"The INTERTANKO Council now recognises that its three Regional Panels - the INTERTANKO Hellenic Forum, the North American Panel and the Asian Regional Panel - form the most important centres of tanker shipping activity outside Northern Europe. Panels not only enable local members to have more direct input into the work of the Association, they also bring the membership into contact with the various parties, including port authorities and regulators, with whom INTERTANKO cooperates in order to further the causes of safe ships, cleaner seas and free competition," says Erric Kertsikoff, Chairman of the INTERTANKO Hellenic Forum.

Forum agenda
The Forum's busy agenda for the day calls for an evaluation of the current extensive INTERTANKO work programme, followed by consideration of the Association's goals for 1999. This is the first follow-up of a decision taken by the INTERTANKO Council at its last meeting in Brussels on 14 October to reappraise priorities. The explosive growth in the activities of the Association over the past two years has necessitated a thorough analysis of the current workload. INTERTANKO's Regional Panels and Committees, together with the Secretariat, will prepare a revision of the the Association's very full work programme.

The safety of navigation is another important topic on the agenda of the INTERTANKO Hellenic Forum's 9 November meeting. The busy maritime traffic through the Bosporus is of paramount importance for many tanker operators in the region. Discussions may lead to possible suggestions which INTERTANKO can consider and forward to IMO and all interested parties. The Forum hopes that INTERTANKO may assist with this difficult matter as far as the provision of technical advice and expertise are concerned. In addition, the Forum will be made aware that at the last Council meeting, it was agreed to issue an INTERTANKO policy statement on the arrest and detention of masters.

The Forum will be invited to consider a number of other items, as itemised below:

1. Corrosion Management Plan
The avoidance of corrosion in cargo tanks is paramount on double hull tankers. A recent industry meeting hosted by INTERTANKO in London, with over 50 attendees representing tanker operators, oil majors, major classification societies, steel manufacturers and research institutions, agreed in principle that the industry should develop a safe and comprehensive plan for monitoring and preventing high corrosion rates on cargo tanks. With the kind assistance of Texaco, INTERTANKO made a commitment to coordinate such efforts.
2. Hydrostatic Balance Loading (HBL)
INTERTANKO has recently published a document entitled "Guide for Safe and Uniform Application of the HBL" in accordance with IMO regulations and the IACS Uniform Interpretations. The Guide provides a practical example of assessment of the HBL operation for a HBL. This model could be used practically for any tanker. Tanker operators are invited to take note of this publication.
3. Technical Managers Association in Greece
Possible cooperation between the INTERTANKO Safety, Technical and Environmental Committee (ISTEC) with the newly formed Technical Managers Association of Greece will be discussed.
4. Miscellaneous
In addition, the Forum will address organisational matters related to the membership within the Hellenic Members and their representation in the INTERTANKO Council.

Brussels Tanker Event
INTERTANKO held its most recent international Tanker Event in Brussels on 12-15 October. The theme of the Brussels Tanker Event was the active partnership that INTERTANKO and the European Commission have jointly developed in the drive for safer shipping. The extent to which INTERTANKO and the Commission have adopted comparable approaches to promoting maritime safety was highlighted by Transport Commissioner Neil Kinnock in his keynote speech to the Brussels Event delegates when he described the many similarities that exist between the EU's Quality Shipping Campaign and INTERTANKO's Chain of Responsibility concept. Neil Kinnock also gave high marks to INTERTANKO's commitment to effective self-regulation and the establishment of a quality culture throughout its membership. The Commission would like to see the commitment being made by INTERTANKO repeated in other maritime and shipping sectors, and for all these efforts to be channelled to ensure the goals of its Quality Shipping Campaign are achieved.

"I have to say that the response from all sectors of the industry to our Campaign has surpassed expectations,"said Neil Kinnock at the Tanker Event. "However, we must now mobilise this positive response to best effect. I would like to see this support developed into something more tangible than pleasant references at conferences. For instance, an Industry Charter that listed the basic principles of the Campaign, and was signed by responsible participants throughout the Responsibility Chain would be tangible evidence." Mr Kinnock concluded his speech by expressing his belief that INTERTANKO and the European Commission will develop even stronger links as the Quality Shipping Campaign advances.

Houston Tanker Event, April 1999
The INTERTANKO Council discussed a range of key issues and reached a number of important decisions at its recent Brussels meeting. It was confirmed that the next INTERTANKO Tanker Event will be held in Houston on 25-29 April 1999. The Event, which will take place in conjunction with the Association's Annual General Meeting and Council and Executive Committee meetings, will focus on Latin American tanker shipping activities, waterway management issues and the people involved in tanker shipping.

Chairman Designate
Dagfinn Lunde, Managing Director of INTERTANKO is pleased to announce that the INTERTANKO Council unanimously approved Westye Høegh of Leif Hoegh & Co ASA as the Chairman Designate of INTERTANKO to succeed Richard du Moulin. Richard du Moulin's three-year term of office expires in April 1999 on the date of the next Annual General Meeting.

ISO 9002 certification
Dagfinn Lunde also reports that, "In another notable recent development, the INTERTANKO Secretariat in Oslo has achieved certification to the ISO 9002 quality assurance standard. The certification, which is believed to be the first ever for a shipping trade association, was awarded by ABS following a full audit of operations in Oslo."

New INTERTANKO Newsletter
INTERTANKO has launched a new biannual publication, "The Tanker Newsletter", to bring useful information about the industry out beyond the ranks of the tanker community itself to all those having some contact with tanker shipping and a desire to learn more from a first-hand source. Approximately 6,000 copies of the launch issue are now being circulated to contacts in the media, government, shipping and education sectors worldwide. An additional 2,000 copies will be distributed to the INTERTANKO fleet on the basis of one per tanker.

INTERTANKO committee work
The work programmes of the 15 INTERTANKO committees and three Regional Panels form the backbone of the Association's activities. It is estimated that the 150 people from INTERTANKO full and associate member companies devote, on average, one week per annum to committee work. These people are the acknowledged tanker industry experts in their specialised fields. Without this backbone provided by the committee structure, INTERTANKO could not function as effectively as it does today. The Council noted that four new committees - the IT Committee, the Market Research Group, the Short Sea Tanker Group and the Shuttle Tanker Committee - have been established over the past year.

INTERTANKO membership
The INTERTANKO membership includes, as full members, 273 tanker companies with 1,992 tankers totalling 170 million dwt. This is equivalent to 74 per cent of all independently owned tanker tonnage worldwide. In addition, there are 279 INTERTANKO associate member companies. The associate membership includes companies which offer equipment and services to the tanker industry, as well as most of the major oil companies.

New members
At its Brussels meeting the INTERTANKO Council approved the membership applications of six tanker companies, with an aggregate of 61 ships totalling 1.48m dwt. Two of the companies are based in Hong Kong, China (Eurasia Offshore and Parakou Shipping), two in Greece (Minerva Marine and Thalassic Steamship Agency), and one each in Canada (Algoma Tanker) and Russia (Primorsk Shipping). In addition, the applications of 13 companies for associate membership were approved.