Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Elektrans Safety and Security Day

We are very pleased to announce our first ever annual “Safety and Security Day” being celebrated throughout the Elektrans Group, ship as shore, on 29th September, 2016.

As prudent asset and risk managers, the Elektrans Group recognizes that there is a clear link between a strong Company HSSEQ performance, a human element focus and a strong sustainable Elektrans business performance.

The annual Elektrans ‘Safety and Security day’ is meant as a time out during which we jointly all hands on deck reflect on, discuss and find new ways on how we can further improve our HSSEQ performance overall as a company, team as individuals. The glue that keeps it all together is a strong company safety culture and mindset which we want to further nourish.

We believe in constant improvement as a key driver to our success, and we must never become complacent on our past results nor take good HSSEQ performance for granted.

The concept of our ‘HSSEQ’ is based on the five key pillars which together constitute the scope of Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Quality. The HSSEQ scope is linked and interdependent to the Elektrans Company and our Human Element factor. Our new Human Element concept logo displays this clearly in a three-in-one logo.

Shipping is perhaps the foremost international of all industries. Shipping enables globalisation as does it yield the most cost efficient and energy efficient transport mode of all.

Global trade and prosperity is directly dependent on maritime shipping.

We are proud to be part of the global shipping industry, as do we constantly strive to take responsibility setting higher safety and Security industry standards in collaboration with our relevant stakeholders.

Yet astonishing the vast majority of the public remain utterly unaware of the importance of a well-functioning shipping industry and how same influences their day to day lives.

Global free trade and cost efficient seaborne logistics is dependent on safe and secure conditions.

This year, the World Maritime Day theme provides an opportunity to put that right.

It gives an opportunity for the shipping community to tell its story: the story of an industry that, in terms of efficiency, safety, environmental impact and its contribution to global trade is unmatched by any other transport sector; the story of shipping – which is, truly, indispensable to the world.

We at Elektrans believe that sustainability of shipping cannot be achieved without strong foundation pillars of safety and security.

Please do all actively participate as embrace the Elektrans Group annual Safety and Security Day and allow us to request all to sspread the message of “Shipping – Indispensable to the world” and drive public awareness of our industry as true maritime ambassadors!

Wish you all safe and secure operations on greener seas!

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Happy Independence Day!

15 August is here and it is time to celebrate this special day which celebrates freedom, liberty and patriotism. This day is celebrated to honor the martyrs who gave their lives for the nation. Since 1947, this day is observed as the most special day for every Indian. Sending you warmest wishes on Independence Day of India as we complete 70 glorious years of freedom. Make this day a memorable one by honoring the sacrifices of our soldiers and freedom fighters.

The three colors in Indian flag inspire us to stay together and in harmony despite all the differences and uniqueness. The seafarers have long in our history have led by example to respect each other despite multi culture that we work with and we all feel very proud of it.

 Independence is not just about our rights, it is also about our duties and responsibilities. Let us make this Independence Day more meaningful by fulfilling our duties as a citizen of India and ensure that as seafarers, we fulfill our part as truly global citizen.

Wishing you a very Happy Independence Day 2016.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Day of the Sea Farer!

Seafarers are indispensable to the world! The campaign theme chosen by IMO this year is “At Sea for All” There is a clear link with 2016 world Maritime day theme – “Shipping Indispensable to the world”.

The day of the seafarer gives us all a chance to reflect on how much we all rely on seafarers for most of the things we take for granted in our everyday lives. This day was established in 2010, to recognize the unique contribution made by seafarers to international seaborne trade, the world economy and to global society as a whole.

Over one million seafarers operate the global fleet yet billions of people depend on them for the essentials and the luxuries of life!

This day dedicated to seafarers is also focusing on maritime education. An enriched career at sea.

Most people go to work in offices, factories and shops, but it's a different picture for seafarers: an office can be a hundred thousand ton oil tanker or a cargo ship navigating the world’s oceans with beautiful landscapes.

Intending to showcase the multi-faceted, maritime world offers a series of rich and fulfilling career opportunities for young people, both at sea and ashore.

Thus, the aim is to engage seafarers themselves to say they are proud to serve a wider cause than just their own careers. Also, enlightened members of the general public to signal their own appreciation of the importance of sea farers – “Seafarers are At Sea for All”.

We, at Elektrans, have consistently strived to uplift the welfare of our seafarers at sea. On this occasion, we would like to celebrate our seafarers and their significant contributions which have aided the company to embark on unexplored paths of globalization. Their relentless efforts to accomplish the objectives of Elektrans have culminated in the company achieving its dreams.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

SEAFARERS - Providing a yeoman’s service

The shipping industry handles over 90% of world trade. This has led to a high growth in demand for the world fleet which currently stands at over 85,000 ships of nearly 1.2billion gross tonnage. Seafarers play the most important role in the manning and operations of the world fleet. They brave the seas, encounter the harsh elements, rough weather, long durations away from home and family, put in long hours of hard work and thus provide a yeoman’s service.

A key highlight of the STCW Conference 2010 was the IMO designated, “Year of the Seafarer,” which aimed to provide the maritime community with an opportunity to pay tribute to seafarers from all over the world for their unique contribution to society and in recognition of the facilitation of global trade in a hazardous environment.

The conference further designated 25th June as the “Day of the Seafarer” Thereafter, this day is being observed every year. This year whilst observing the day of the seafarer, IMO has also encouraged young people to consider a career at sea as a viable, attractive and enticing career option. A central plank of the campaign message was that seafaring offers unique opportunities to navigate the seas of the globe and encounter the wonders of the ocean, as well as the opportunity to experience a world of real adventure and interact with people from all over the world.

IMO Secretary General Sekimizu called on active and past seafarers to inspire the next generation by sharing their experience on social media. He encouraged officials who are already engaged in this vital professional world to reach out to the new generation; share their life and work experiences; inspire and encourage them to explore for themselves a career at sea or elsewhere in the maritime industries.

 Seafaring opens the door to decent work and unique and enriching experiences. Moreover, in running today’s modern, high-tech vessels, seafarers acquire skills and technical expertise that make them very well qualified for work in many shore based industries once their sea-going days are over.

 The BIMCO/ISF Manpower Update provides the most comprehensive assessment of the global supply and demand for seafarers that are currently available. In accordance with their study of 2010, they have estimated a total global supply of 1371 thousand seafarers (624,000 officers and 747,000 ratings).

The 2010 Manpower Update suggests that while the supply and demand for ratings are more or less balanced there are still some shortages for officers, particularly for certain grades and for ship types such as tankers and offshore support vessels. We are now waiting for the 2015 Manpower Update.

The current situation in India is that there is enough encouragement and a large number of educated youth are eager to take up seafaring as a career. Unfortunately, although there are enough training berths in pre-sea institutions, but not enough berths are available for on-board training thus leading to a mismatch between training and placements. We can draw a parallel with medical professionals as a candidate training to become a doctor needs to complete an internship program in a hospital in order to attain an MBBS degree. Similarly, a cadet training to become a sea going officer has to complete the requisite on board training prior to certificate of competency course and examination.

Further, there is a surplus of ratings and junior officers, and a shortage of senior officers. Thus, some mechanism needs to be developed to balance the situation.

Make in India- A fine example from the Indian Automobile Industry

The Leading global automobile manufacturers; Suzuki- Maruti, Hyundai, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, Ford, General Motors, Nissan etc. have set up production facilities in India and are catering to both the Indian market and the export markets. Cars are now being exported to diverse markets in Africa, South- East Asia and Europe.

 Leading Indian manufacturers; Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra etc. are similarly catering to both the Indian market and the export markets.

 The Indian automobile industry is thus amongst the top manufacturers in the world catering to the growing Indian and export markets.

Automobile exports (passenger vehicles) from India have grown from 4.5lakhs in 2009/2010 to 6.2lakhs in 2014/2015 an average annual growth rate of about 8% and the trend is continuing.

 Transportation of automobiles for the export market is done by Pure Car and Truck Carriers (PCTC’s) of over 5000 cars (CEUs) capacity. This is the most economic and efficient way for sea transportation of automobiles.

 Large PCTC’s of various leading international shipping lines, such as, Hoegh Autoliners, NYK, MOL, Wallenius Wilhelmsen, etc. make regular calls at Indian ports to load and transport automobiles by Ro-Ro concept.

It would be observed from the foregoing that the manufacture of automobiles in India by leading international and Indian manufacturers is one of the best examples of the “Make in India”, concept. Taking a lead from here, perhaps it can be replicated in a number of other industries too.

Then, what about the shipbuilding industry, will it be possible? Perhaps yes, at a later date, when we are able to overcome the constraints and numerous problems. The demand for RoRo PCTC’s is likely to increase with the increase in exports and this would provide a good opportunity to Indian shipping lines to consider diversifying and acquiring a few PCTC’s.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Entry into force of BWMC – Fast Approaching

Since the introduction of steel-hulled vessels around 135 years ago, water has been used as ballast to stabilize vessels at sea. Ballast water is pumped in to maintain safe operating conditions throughout a voyage. This practice reduces stress on the hull, provides transverse stability, improves propulsion and maneuverability, and compensates for weight changes in various cargo load levels and due to fuel and water consumption.

While ballast water is essential for safe and efficient modern shipping operations, it may pose serious ecological, economic and health problems due to the multitude of marine species carried in ships’ ballast water. These include bacteria, microbes, small invertebrates, eggs, cysts and larvae of various species. The transferred species may survive to establish a reproductive population in the host environment, becoming invasive, out-competing native species and multiplying into pest proportions.

Scientists first recognized the signs of an alien species introduction after a mass occurrence of the Asian phytoplankton algae Odontella in the North Sea in 1903. In the late 1980’s, Canada and Australia were amongst countries experiencing particular problems with invasive species, and they brought their concerns to the attention of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC)

The problem of invasive species in ships’ ballast water is largely due to the expanded trade and traffic volume over the last few decades and, since the volumes of seaborne trade continue to increase, the problem may not yet have reached its peak. The effects in many areas of the world have been devastating. Quantitative data show that the rate of bio-invasions is continuing to increase at an alarming rate and new areas are being invaded all the time.

The spread of invasive species is now recognized as one of the greatest threats to the ecological and the economic wellbeing of the planet. These species are causing enormous damage to biodiversity and the valuable natural riches of the earth upon which we depend. Direct and indirect health effects are becoming increasingly serious and the damage to the environment is often irreversible.

In order to control the spread of invasive aquatic species through ship’s ballast water, IMO through international co-operation adopted the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship’s Ballast Water and Sediments (BWMC) in 2004.

The Convention will require all ships to implement a ballast water management plan, carry a ballast water record book, carry out ballast water management procedures to a given standard, and hold a valid International Ballast Water Management Certificate.

During the Convention development process, considerable efforts were made to formulate appropriate standards for ballast water management. They are the ballast water exchange (BWE) standard and the ballast water performance standard. Ships performing ballast water exchange shall do so with an efficiency of 95 per cent volumetric exchange of ballast water and ships using a ballast water management system (BWMS) shall meet a performance standard based on agreed numbers of organisms per unit of volume.

The Convention will enter into force after ratification by 30 States, representing 35 per cent of world merchant shipping tonnage.

In the interim period, whilst the Convention is yet to enter into force, ships are carrying out BWE in the open sea (> 200nm from nearest land and water depth > 200m) to meet Port State Control requirements.

Till date, 49 contracting States with 34.82% of the world’s gross tonnage have ratified the Convention, so we are very close to meeting the entry into force criteria. It is expected that the criteria would be met soon and the Convention would enter into force probably before the end of 2016.

It would be one of the most expensive Conventions to implement as retrofit of a Ballast Water Treatment System would cost US $ 1 to 5 million per ship depending on size, capacity and layout.

Presently, there is still a dilemma with regard to approvals as only MEPC approved systems would be acceptable and further for trading in US waters, US Coast Guard approval would also be required. A few companies have installed retrofit systems on some of their ships, for early compliance. Majority would comply close to the due date for a ship which would be the next renewal date of the individual ship’s pollution prevention certificate. This would effectively space out compliance over the next five years.

Although in the prevailing very low freight market situation it is going to be difficult for the shipping industry to implement BWMC due to high cost, but to protect the marine environment it would need to be done.


The development of the IMDG Code dates back to the 1960 Safety of Life at Sea Conference, which recommended that Governments should adopt a uniform international code for the transport of dangerous goods by sea to supplement the regulations contained in the 1960 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).

A resolution adopted by the 1960 Conference said the proposed code should cover such matters as packing, container traffic and stowage, with particular reference to the segregation of incompatible substances.

A working group of IMO's Maritime Safety Committee began preparing the Code in 1961, in close co operation with the United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, which in a 1956 report had established minimum requirements for the transport of dangerous goods by all modes of transport.

Since its adoption by the fourth IMO Assembly in 1965, the IMDG Code has undergone many changes, both in appearance and content to keep pace with the ever changing needs of industry. Amendments which do not affect the principles upon which the Code is based may be adopted by the MSC, allowing IMO to respond to transport developments in reasonable time.

Amendments to the IMDG Code originate from two sources; proposals submitted directly to IMO by Member States and amendments required to take account of changes to the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods which sets the basic requirements for all the transport modes.

Amendments to the provisions of the United Nations Recommendations are made on a two yearly cycle and approximately two years after their adoption, they are adopted by the authorities responsible for regulating the various transport modes. In that way a basic set of requirements applicable to all modes of transport is established and implemented, thus ensuring that difficulties are not encountered at inter modal interfaces.

For the purposes of this Code, dangerous goods are classified in different classes, to subdivide a number of these classes and to define and describe characteristics and properties of the substances, material and articles which would fall within each class or division. General provisions for each class or division are given. Individual dangerous goods are listed in the Dangerous Goods List, with the class and any specific requirements.

The shippers have to adhere to the packing and labeling requirement as required by the code. Failure to do so will result in cargo not being accepted and or they being penalized. Only class 7 cargo packaging type is not given in the IMDG code as owing to the hazard nature of this cargo the packaging requirements are covered by the IAEA. Thus, the IMDG code ensures safe transportation of dangerous cargo.