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Female leadership can be maritime industry game changer

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Female leadership can be maritime industry game changer. Image: Unsplash
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Female leadership should be a priority for maritime businesses – particularly in the bunker industry – where women make up just nine per cent of senior positions.

LQM Petroleum Services are bucking the trend and have a gender equality ratio of 50 per cent across global operations in the UK, USA and France.

But with around 2000 people working in the bunker sector as a whole, only 26 per cent of those are women.

Research from Advanced Resource Management (ARM) has revealed that of the 26 per cent, approximately 15 per cent fall into lower levels roles such as graduate positions, administration and purchasing.

At an LQM webinar last week panel comprising of Unni Einemo (Director of IBIA), Isabela Tatu (Consultant for TMA), Jenna Coles (Head of Maritime for ARM) and Sara Brady (Team Leader at LQM) discussed why female leadership in bunkering is so important.

“I came into bunkering through LQM,” said LQM Team Manager Sara Brady. “I was hired by a very strong female broker – who was also a partner in the business – and that’s why I’m so happy LQM are still continuing on the same path.

“I thought it was amazing to see such a strong businesswoman doing the best for our clients and accounts.

“It wasn’t about being a woman or man. It was about working as hard as you can to get there.

“I remember sitting on a board of directors with 15 men and it was scary because it’s hard to tell if they’re taking you seriously or not. Nearly two decades later, I’m going to the same board meetings and I’m so glad to see more women and female buyers.

“There are still some regional differences. It’s a slower pace of change in South America, for example, but there has been improvements – especially on the supplier side.”

LQM chief executive Daniel Rose says his organisation is putting diversity at the heart of their plans.

“Our 50 per cent gender equality ratio is something we absolutely intend to keep in the future,” Rose explained.

“Despite bunkering being male dominated, LQM’s experience is that keeping things balanced has been hugely positive.”

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Maritime

IRClass has classed India’s first LNG-FSRU for Triumph Offshore

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IRClass has classed India’s first LNG-FSRU for Triumph Offshore. Image: IRClass
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Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), an international ship classification society, has classed India’s first LNG-FSRU (Floating Storage Regasification Unit) marking a milestone in India’s energy shift towards natural gas.

Constructed at Hyundai Shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea, the 180,000 cu.m FSRU which is flagged in India, is designed for continuous operations without the need for drydocking over a period of 20 years. The unit is assigned class notation for 20 years extended interval between successive dry-dockings and complies with the requirements of IRClass Rules and Indian Flag for this purpose. The unit is owned by Triumph Offshore Pvt Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Swan Energy Ltd, an India-based listed company.

The vessel can operate in two distinct modes – LNG Carrier Mode and Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) mode. This allows the utilisation of a FSRU for receiving LNG from LNG carriers, regasification of the LNG and sending it out.

The vessel complies with the recently updated Rules of IRClass applicable for LNG carriers provided with regasification systems and takes into account various risks associated with such systems by appropriate risk control measures. The updated IRClass Main Rules for Seagoing ships, covers the requirements for regasification systems in a separate chapter addressing various aspects such as systems design, fire safety, emergency shutdown arrangements, survey and testing requirements etc. The vessel has also been verified with respect to the requirements of the IGC Code and IRClass Rules for Gas carriers.

With strong government support and improved infrastructure in India, the prospects for natural gas are expected to rise significantly to meet growing energy demands in the country. This is also in line with the Indian government vision to build a gas-based economy and increase the share of natural gas in the primary energy mix to 15% by 2030, up from 6% today. This will also contribute towards IMO’s aim of reducing GHG emissions.

“As we anticipate energy demand to soar in India, it is important to move towards the use of clean energy to meet that need. Undertaking this project demonstrates our commitment towards a greener future, and we at IRClass are delighted to play an essential role in meeting that goal.” Commented IRClass’ Joint Managing Director Vijay Arora.

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IEC Telecom launches a wave of maritime digitalisation

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IEC Telecom launches a wave of maritime digitalisation. Image: IEC Telecom
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IEC Telecom Group (IEC Telecom), satcom solutions provider, debuts OneGate Marine Compact to equip small and medium sized vessels in Asia, with VSAT-like connectivity by optimizing L-Band capacity.

Following its successful launch in Europe earlier this year, IEC Telecom’s OneGate Marine Compact is now available in Asia allowing small and medium sized vessels, which represent close to 50% of shipping traffic in the region, to enjoy connectivity at sea previously available only to larger vessels.

The fleet of small and medium-sized boats are currently underserved by the maritime communication sector. The existing VSAT terminals are  unsuitable for use on these vessels due to  size and high sensitivity to movements.

The smaller the vessel the more prone it is to vibration; under harsh weather conditions at sea, directive VSAT antennas would be unable to guarantee stable signals. Additionally, current solutions in the market require high capital investment and a long-term commitment, with a minimum of three-year service contracts.

Considering all the factors above, it becomes obvious that a small and medium sized vessel owner is placed at a disadvantage in adopting new technologies, causing them to lag behind bigger vessels in the digitalisation wave of the industry.

Acknowledging the pain points of this segment, IEC Telecom came up with OneGate Marine Compact to overcome the challenges faced by shipowners on technical specifications and cost. OneGate Marine Compact provides the solution to optimize L-band capacity bringing VSAT-like experience over Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) terminal.

Optimizing the L-band will enable digitalization for small and mid-sized vessels which will allow the hosting of applications enabling high bandwidth-consuming services such as telemedicine, video conferencing, crew management, crew welfare IoT and more.

Nabil Ben Soussia, CEO, Asia, Middle East and CIS at IEC Telecom said: “When we started the development of OneGate Marine Compact a year ago, we could not have anticipated the upcoming pandemic, but its launch now comes at the right time.

“Covid-19 makes connectivity of paramount importance and surfaced many inherent weaknesses faced by the industry and new regulations, like port closure, can be imposed at any time. While large vessels are equipped with several channels of communication, most  small and mid-sized vessels remain out of reach.

“Today, with the launch of OneGate Marine Compact, for the first time in the industry, digitalisation becomes possible and most importantly affordable to all maritime sectors, offered with flexible tariff plans and no long-term commitment. Besides, the new technology will enable maritime SMEs to use various telecom applications to optimize their business processes and increase operational efficiency, creating new opportunities and contributing to the regional GDP growth.”

IEC Telecom is the Silver sponsor at the Asia Pacific Shipping Forum held online from 4 to 5 November 2020 and Nabil Ben Soussia will be sharing more on OneGate Marine Compact in his session titled “Digitalisation for all vessel types: not a myth but a reality”.

Nabil Ben Soussia, CEO, Asia, Middle East and CIS at IEC Telecom said: “When we started the development of OneGate Marine Compact a year ago, we could not have anticipated the upcoming pandemic, but its launch now comes at the right time.

“Covid-19 makes connectivity of paramount importance and surfaced many inherent weaknesses faced by the industry and new regulations, like port closure, can be imposed at any time. While large vessels are equipped with several channels of communication, most  small and mid-sized vessels remain out of reach.

“Today, with the launch of OneGate Marine Compact, for the first time in the industry, digitalisation becomes possible and most importantly affordable to all maritime sectors, offered with flexible tariff plans and no long-term commitment. Besides, the new technology will enable maritime SMEs to use various telecom applications to optimize their business processes and increase operational efficiency, creating new opportunities and contributing to the regional GDP growth.”

IEC Telecom is the Silver sponsor at the Asia Pacific Shipping Forum held online from 4 to 5 November 2020 and Nabil Ben Soussia will be sharing more on OneGate Marine Compact in his session titled “Digitalisation for all vessel types: not a myth but a reality”.

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Maritime

Intellian C700 Iridium Certus® maritime terminal launched

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Intellian C700 Iridium Certus® maritime terminal launched. Image: Intellian
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Intellian C700 Iridium Certus® maritime terminal has now been launched and is expected to quickly secure a reputation as the most powerful and technically advanced Iridium Certus® terminal on the market.

With its best-in-class RF performance, the C700 can deliver out-of-the-box uplink speeds of 352kbps and downlink speeds of 704kbps by default, with equally impressive low-elevation-angle RF efficiency thanks to its unique 12-patch phased array antenna technology.

It will support three high-quality, low-latency phone lines simultaneously; and as a solid-state antenna with no moving parts inside, the C700 is especially robust, requiring no scheduled maintenance over its lifetime.

The advanced performance of the C700 provides customers across all markets with the flexibility to deploy it as the primary communication antenna or as a companion to a VSAT system for seamless redundancy.

For primary communications, the Below Deck Unit (BDU) incorporates key features which make it ready to deploy without additional cost, including firewall, IP PBX, WAN port and built-in Wi-Fi. Hardware and software functions such as these, incorporated into the system, make the C700 the most powerful, feature-rich L-band solution on the market, delivering best in class performance and functionality.

The innate stability and reliable connectivity afforded by the C700 also make it an ideal platform for future safety services, including the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).

The C700 delivers installation efficiency both through the product design and the commissioning process. The BDU, weighing approximately 1.2kg, is available as a standalone bulkhead mount system or a 19” all-in-one rack-mount version.

With its small, lightweight and space-saving form factor, the C700 can be carried on board by just one technician or crew member for rapid and low-cost installation. Once the C700 is installed, the built-in, user-friendly AptusLX software enhances the commissioning and setup experience of customers and partners.

Wouter Deknopper, Vice President and General Manager of Maritime, Iridium, observes: Many vessel owners and operators may decide against VSAT for budgetary reasons, lack of deck space or the absence of adequate coverage on their voyage routes, so Iridium Certus is ideal as a primary means of communication, supported by the ease of upgrading to the C700 from an existing system.

“Iridium Certus also excels as a VSAT companion, combining the benefits of LEO with GEO, and L-band with Ku-band. VSAT can suffer from certain degradations and also isn’t global. That’s where you need a strong hybrid system, and Intellian of course is a highly respected manufacturer of maritime VSAT antennas and the new C700, so it is in a strong position to offer a very competitive turnkey hybrid package on the market. The flexibility of the airtime packages Iridium and our partners offer for Intellian customers is also an essential consideration in such uncertain times for the shipping industry and beyond.”

L-band is particularly resistant to rain fade and other forms of atmospheric interference, and the C700’s 12-element antenna arrangement is designed to supply rapid and efficient tracking performance, leading to optimal high-speed data and voice connections. Troels Christensen, Product Manager, EMEA, Intellian, explains: “The signal stability is exceptional even on fast boats or smaller vessels in rough seas, where you may experience heavy pitch and roll.”

An attractive proposition for crew communications with its multiple high-quality voice lines, the C700 is also protected with Intellian’s international support and service network infrastructure, and comes with a three-year warranty for parts and labor.

“The fact that it can be retrofitted by reusing a vessel’s old mast mount, cables and power supply saves additional time and money,” adds Mr. Christensen. “There’s no need for extra boxes, there are no hidden costs, and Iridium Certus provides truly global coverage, even at the poles, so the C700 is an L-band innovation that pays ample dividends not just for smaller vessels, but right across the board.”

Eric Sung, CEO, Intellian Technologies, concludes: “We’re delighted to partner with Iridium and believe our C700 is a great addition to our innovative maritime product portfolio. The new C700 antenna is a great choice for multiple customer segments, delivering an affordable solution which leads the market in speed and functionality.”

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