The Maritime Advocate–Issue 792


1. Will there be any sea left?
2. Singapore arbitration
3. Remote control operations
4. Drones in action
5. Eternal Bliss
6. MEPC fallout
7. Cyber MOU
8. Hydrogen initiative
9. Green bond
10. Applied Risk acquisition
11. Losing containers
12. Transiting Suez
13. ISU appointments

Notices & Miscellany

Readers’ responses to our articles are very welcome and, where suitable, will be reproduced:
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1. Will there be any sea left?

By Michael Grey

As the governmental delegates to Cop26, safely delivered home after their Scottish excursion, start to work out how they can deliver their extravagant zero- carbon pledges by the due date, it is becoming manifestly clear that it will be neither cheap, nor easy. It is very easy for politicians and environmental interests to talk about “clean, renewable energy” but providing it in sufficient quantities to power up our technological world is a colossal task that puts a strain on our imagination, as only a tiny proportion of what will be needed currently exists.

It has been suggested that green ammonia or green methanol, or perhaps even synthetic LNG will end up as the fuel of choice to power the world fleet, assuming we see a value in maintaining world trade. But has anyone really considered the amazing amount of “renewable” electrical power that will be required to provide the hydrogen feedstock  from electrolysis to produce this quantity of bunkers? And bear in mind that just as the marine industry has been accustomed to fuel its ships using the “bottom of the barrel” filth nobody else wanted, it will probably be at the back of the queue for all this lovely green fuel, as others will be better able to pay for it.

But let’s not be too depressed. The immediate future is blown in the wind and it is clear that anyone involved in the offshore (or even onshore) wind business can look forward to plenty of activity. Old-fashioned folk who drive ships around for a living have long become used to being diverted from their traditional tracks from A to B, because somebody has insisted on planting a huge windfarm array on the seabed over which they used to track. We might expect a lot more of this activity as the number of turbines grows tenfold, or twentyfold, depending on what you might have been reading.

It is probably not much use protesting about all the additional miles you are going to have to steam to circumvent these obstacles safely, because the rights of those who want to obstruct your passage will invariably trump the needs of navigation. It’s a habit the energetic energy lobby got into all those years ago, when they wanted to plonk oil rigs in your way and the precedent will live on into the renewable era.

While the North Sea is affording a delightful planting spot for wind turbines, with the Dogger Bank field soon to be the world’s biggest array, where once only herrings throve, and the Heligoland Bight affording only narrow channels between the windmills into the German ports, the rest of the world is intent on catching up. If you have been reading your maritime press assiduously, you will have been aware that the coasts of California have been swarming with anchored or drifting containerships impatiently awaiting their berths.

They had better sort out their stevedoring soon, because those “advancing clean energy development” are seeking to fence off  a huge area of sea, twenty miles off the coast upon which it is hoped to plant a giant wind farm. According to the useful Millers’ Maritime Newsletter which keeps us informed of US developments, the proposed Morro Bay Wind Energy Area of 240,898 acres or 376 square miles (it is so much more user-friendly than horrible hectares) is now seeking permission to start planting. And if we are going to even partly match the ambitions of those requiring clean, green fuel for power, industry and transportation, many more acres of sea are going to be converted to electrical production, with all their turbines, underwater cables and associated paraphernalia. There is not even a need for shallow water, either, as floating devices have been trialled and found perfectly practical, only requiring a decent mooring.

I was reading that the coasts of China will soon have the largest conglomeration of offshore turbines in the world, which will make the sanity of those navigating the South China Sea, whose lives are already traumatised by gigantic fleets of suicidal fishing boats, problematical. It is enough to push them over the edge.

But the ambitions of the renewable energy interests are only half of the story, as hundreds of square miles of once usable sea are fenced off for “marine parks” or environmental reserves, where marine life will not be troubled by propeller noise, or people dropping anchors on the sea bottom, trawlers or worst of all – dredgers. There was once a sort of freedom that you felt when the last mooring line had been cast off and the bow of the ship was turned seawards. The next generation, one suspects, as they weave their way around all the obstructions in their tortuous way to what bits of open ocean that remain, are going to feel rather like trespassers.

Michael Grey is former editor of Lloyd’s List.

2. Singapore arbitration

The Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA) has launched the fourth edition of the SCMA Arbitration Rules which will apply to all arbitrations commencing on and after 1 January 2022.

The key philosophy behind the SCMA Rules is to ensure that those in dispute are provided with all the requisite tools and guidance to ensure a user-friendly, cost-effective, efficient, and as  far as possible, fuss-free approach to resolution of disputes by arbitration. 

To view the SCMA Rules 4th edition, please go to:

3. Remote control operations

Classification society DNV has introduced the shipping industry’s first competence standard for vessel remote control centre operators (RCCO). The standard is supported by a new recommended practice that offers a certification scheme for RCCOs. Together, they provide a framework for training, assessing, and certifying personnel working in remote-control centres that support or manage operations at sea.

Intelligent software systems and enhanced ship-to-shore-connectivity have laid the groundwork for the growth of remote solutions and autonomy in shipping. Unmanned vessels are already expected to begin operations in the near future.
Ensuring that these vessels operate at an equivalent level of safety is essential to building confidence and realizing the potential of these technologies. However, despite the technical solutions being in place, competence requirements for those monitoring, supporting and/or controlling these ships have not been defined.

The new DNV competence standard for remote control centre operators   and the supporting recommended practice   change this. They were developed in collaboration with Kongsberg Maritime, Wilhelmsen, as well as the University of South-Eastern Norway, and the Norwegian Maritime Authority.

“Making sure that shore-based staff are prepared for autonomous, remote-controlled or remotely supported operations at sea is a big challenge,” said Torsten Schröder, SeaSkill™ Service Manager, Competence & Learning at DNV Maritime. “Because when it comes the wider application of these technologies, trust in the systems, and the people managing these operations is paramount. This is why we are so pleased to have developed the recommended practice with expert partners from across the industry. Having a wide range of expertise was essential to devising a uniform and controlled approach to the training, assessment and certification of RCCOs.” 

The DNV SeaSkill standard ST-0324 provides a foundation for the entire process. It lists the required competencies for the operation of autonomous or remotely controlled and/or supported ships.
It also covers competency in: 
• Emergency handling and resource management within a remote control centre (RCC)
• Communication with 3rd parties on behalf of the ship under remote-control
• Man-machine interaction.

RCCO certificates can be registered in an existing DNV online database, making it possible for interested parties to verify qualifications and validity of an RCCO certificate.
To ensure transparency in this emerging field and build trust among users and the public, examination centres, certification bodies, as well as the training centres, their RCC simulators and learning programmes for RCCOs can also be certified by DNV.

4. Drones in action

Self-flying drones and new inspection technologies for early crack detection and condition assessment make drone surveys even safer, smarter and more effective.  
DNV has joined with five industry partners for the ADRASSO project, to research how a drone can fly by itself, track its position inside a cargo tank, use artificial intelligence to spot cracks and corrosion in captured video, and measure steel thickness. Two successful demonstrations on board floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) ships were carried out during the project. 
Watch the video article to see and learn how the new drone is working and what benefits the technologies bring. 

5. Eternal Bliss

The Court of Appeal judgment in the Eternal Bliss case has attracted a good deal of interest from the industry, most notably as far as the use of demurrage as a remedy is concerned. As Gard mentions in its opinion piece when negotiating a voyage charterparty the parties may not give much thought to the precise legal meaning of the word “demurrage”. If pressed to explain what it covers, one party might say “it’s payment for time used by the charterer after laytime has finished”.

If they then looked at a law book on the point, they might have added “it’s liquidated damages for the delay”. That is right, however, it is highly unlikely that either party would go on to consider the question “but what damages does it liquidate?”.

For more details see

6. MEPC fallout

“The goal for liner shipping is clear: move away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible. The people of the world depend on trade, and we must make efficient trade possible without the climate impact of today – the sooner the better. It is a moral imperative, keenly felt by us working in the industry, as much as it is what our customers and investors demand,” said John Butler, president and chief executive of the World Shipping Council in comments following the International Maritime Organization’s recent Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting.

“Our challenge as a hard-to-abate sector is that the technology and fuels needed for a transition to zero are not yet available. We see the direction, and now need to drive progress towards a tipping point where the technologies for zero-GHG shipping can be applied and a clear demand picture can drive availability of and infrastructure for alternative fuels. That is why IMO member countries’ inexplicable stalling around the IMRB/IMRF [International Maritime Research and Development Board/International Maritime Research Fund] is so dangerous. We can talk all we want about the ambitions for 2050, but unless we put initiatives to drive real progress in place, we are not going to get there”.

“Our appeal to political leaders and regulators is to not get stuck in a cycle of ambition bidding, but to take action for inclusive change in the shipping industry. Whilst we are disappointed there was no decision, the MEPC 77 saw a notable increase in the number of nations supporting the establishment of an industry-financed research fund, pushing USD 5 billion into R&D towards zero-GHG technologies that will be available to all nations. The initiative is ready to launch, has support from the Green Climate Fund, and we will keep supporting member nations working for a positive resolution at MEPC 78,” continues John Butler.

With the IMRB/IMRF established, zero-GHG vessels can be on the water by the early 2030s. With technologies in place, progress has the potential to be quick, especially with market-based measures to help the adoption of zero-GHG technologies and ensure the availability of well-to-wake zero-GHG alternative fuels.

“Debating ambitious targets for far-away deadlines avoids the more difficult discussions on discrete actions to be undertaken and should not be mistaken for actual progress. We need the political establishment to move from targets to action,” John Butler concludes.

Meanwhile ICS Secretary General, Guy Platten, said: “We are disappointed that the words and commitments made by governments at COP26 have not yet been translated into action. This week’s meetings have missed the opportunity to take forward a range of GHG reduction measures which would accelerate the development of zero emissions ships that are urgently needed at scale to decarbonise our sector. It’s almost as if COP 26 never happened.

“Governments can’t keep kicking the can down the road; every delay moves us further away from reaching pressing climate goals. We will continue to work with governments to agree to the suite of measures which the industry has proposed, including the 5 billion dollar R&D fund as an immediate step to be followed by a levy based carbon price for shipping. The adoption of both these measures will be the only way to deliver on net zero emissions from shipping by 2050 while ensuring an equitable transition that leaves no one behind.

“The message from the industry at COP26 was clear; time is running out and we must do everything in our power to decarbonise now. Industry will continue to press IMO to act as the importance of addressing climate change is too great to give up on.

“There was a clear recognition from many more countries that there is an urgent need to significantly increase R&D spending. But we are disappointed that insufficient time was dedicated to allow IMO Member States to take a decision on the 5 billion dollar fund at this session.

“All we are asking is for governments to let business get on and do the things that need to be done. We are not even asking for money or the type of subsidies that other sectors receive. This is a no brainer at a time when we do not have time to prevaricate.

“The IMO Maritime Research Fund is the only proposal on the table ready for immediate agreement. If it is not taken forward soon, we fear this will signal to the world, following COP 26, that IMO is no longer truly serious about maintaining its leadership on GHG issues and that others may then move in to fill the vacuum. We will continue to work with governments to ensure that concerns are addressed so that this fund can be implemented as soon as possible.”

7. Cyber MOU

Classification Society ClassNK has signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cybersecurity with the Panama Maritime Authority (PMA).

Panama, the world’s largest flag state, is making various efforts to improve the safety of its own vessels. On 17 November, PMA announced the establishment of a “Cyber Incident Voluntary Reporting Scheme” to better understand the cyber threats that vessels are actually exposed to and to seek more pragmatic and effective measures to control the cyber risks. The scheme encourages all Panama-flagged vessels to report detected cyber incidents to PMA. See:

Under the MOU, ClassNK will provide its knowledge and experience cultivated so far to PMA for their efforts to ensure cyber security. As part of these efforts, the society will analyse the information collected from the cyber incident voluntary reporting scheme of PMA.

8. Hydrogen initiative

The technology group Wärtsilä, together with class society RINA, ABB, Helbio – a subsidiary of Metacon, the Liberian Registry, and an energy major have joined forces in an effort to deliver a solution with hydrogen as fuel. The aim is to have a scalable and sustainable solution that will exceed the IMO 2050 target for a 70 percent reduction in carbon intensity without the need for an extensive infrastructure investment. This offers the shipping industry a pathway to low-carbon operations within a reasonable time frame.

Current difficulties and cost considerations regarding the production, distribution, and onboard storage of hydrogen have so far limited the sector’s interest in its direct use as a marine fuel. However, by producing hydrogen onboard, and using readily available LNG, the solution becomes far more viable and in a much faster time than would otherwise be possible.

“Our gas engines are already able to use mixtures of hydrogen and LNG, and our future efforts will be to reach 100% hydrogen fuel. We are totally committed to supporting in every way possible the decarbonisation of shipping operations. This project is one more example of this commitment, and we are very pleased to be partnering with other stakeholders to make the IMO 2050 target achievable. This project will give owners a real chance to stay ahead of the competition in terms of efficiency and sustainability,” says Lars Anderson, director of product management and  sales support at Wärtsilä Marine Power.

The concept is based on combining LNG with steam to produce hydrogen and CO2. The hydrogen produced will be used directly in a mix with natural gas in internal combustion engines or in fuel cells, thus eliminating the need for hydrogen to be stored onboard. The CO2 will be liquefied using the cryogenic stream of LNG that would be used as fuel anyway, and later disposed ashore for carbon storage. Tankers can use the stored CO2 as inert gas during discharge.

Wärtsilä and ABB will support the application of hydrogen in powering internal combustion engines and fuel cells respectively, while Helbio will provide the technology and manufacturing of gas reformers. RINA and the Liberian Registry will provide advice and guidance on the application of rules and regulations for novel concept alternative designs, based on Hazid/Hazop analyses, as well as specific rules for this kind of arrangement.

9. Green bond

Maersk has issued its first green bond in order to finance the company’s first green methanol ships, the company announced recently. The 10 year, £500m green bond comes under the umbrella of the company’s green finance framework which is designed to allow the company to issue a variety of sustainable financing instruments. Pattrick Jany, chief financial officer at AP Moller-Maersk commented that “issuing green financing instruments is a further step to integrating sustainability into our financing operations as it is an effective tool for channelling investments to projects with positive environmental impact and thereby contributing to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. With this green bond we aim at diversifying our investor base by reaching out to new investors,” he said.

10. Applied Risk acquisition

DNV is set to acquire industrial cyber security specialist Applied Risk. The two companies will join forces with the aim to build the world’s largest industrial cyber security practice, defending critical infrastructure in maritime and other industrial sectors against emergent cyber threats.  

Threats to industrial cyber security are becoming more common, complex, and creative. The maritime industry witnessed a 400% increase in attempted attacks between February and June 2020 alone, according to Naval Dome. Recovery from an attack can cost organizations hundreds of millions of dollars. 

Many of the world’s largest shipping companies and other maritime organizations have been subject to serious cyber security attacks. The International Maritime Organization, which encountered an attack itself last year, has placed renewed focus on this issue. In January 2021, it introduced new guidelines stating that a ship’s safety management system should account for cyber risk management in compliance with the ISM Code. Technology research company Gartner forecasts that cyber criminals will go beyond making attacks for financial gain this decade, and progressively weaponize industrial control systems to cause harm to human life. 

“Maritime assets are now at higher risk of new forms of cyber-attacks, as their control systems become increasingly connected. Life, property and the environment are at stake. DNV is investing significantly in helping our customers build a powerful force of defence. By joining forces with Applied Risk, we aim to build an industrial cyber security powerhouse to support the sector in managing these emerging risks,” said Remi Eriksen, group president and chief executive, DNV.

11. Losing containers

Why do ships lose containers? This is the question ask by Wärtsilä, pointing to the fact that during the winter of 2020-21, five vessels lost nearly 3,000 containers in the Pacific and during just two months, those post-Panamax vessels accounted for more than twice the number of lost containers in the previous year. While the tendency is to blame the increasing size of ships, or more unpredictable weather patterns, this is only part of the picture the company says.

For more details see

12.  Transiting Suez

Our thanks to Maasmond Maritime’s daily selection of maritime press clippings for highlighting an interesting piece from Inchcape Shipping Services Egypt on the issues surrounding the recent grounding of the Ever Given in the Suez Canal. Transiting the canal is by no means plain sailing, as the article points out. See the November 23rd edition at for further details.

13. ISU appointments

The Annual General Meeting of the International Salvage Union (ISU) was held in London on 30 November 2021 and the membership confirmed Captain Nicholas Sloane as the new president of the ISU from the end of the meeting. Captain Sloane succeeds Richard Janssen who will continue as a member of the ISU Executive Committee.

Mr Janssen said: “It has been a privilege to be ISU President. Most of my presidency has been conducted under the cloud of the COVID pandemic and restrictions but, like our members, ISU has risen to the challenge and continued to act as the global voice of the industry, serving our members, representing their interests and working on the important issues facing – if not threatening – our sector. “More than ever I am convinced about how critical our industry is and we have continued to make a great contribution by preventing loss, mitigating risk, protecting the environment and enabling global trade. I hand over the presidency with real confidence to Nick, who is well-known across the shipping industry and beyond. He is a vastly experienced salvor and has a deep personal commitment to our industry and also to the protection of the marine environment.”  At the same meeting, John Witte was elected as vice president of the ISU. Mr Witte is president and chief executive of Donjon Marine of New Jersey, USA. 

The ISU has selected James Herbert to succeed ISU Secretary General Roger Evans who is to retire at the end of the first quarter of next year.   He has served the ISU for more than 12 years and transformed the way in which the organisation presents itself. He will combine the Secretary General and corporate communications roles.

Notices & Miscellany

Expert evidence
Hercule Poirot or a hired gun? The next LSLC webinar will discuss the issue of expert evidence in maritime disputes at a webinar on Thursday 9th December hosted by MFB.


Dispute resolution
Please find here a WFW article by WFW London Dispute Resolution Partner Mike Phillips.
In the second article of this series, WFW discusses the courts’ powers under the Arbitration Act 1996 to preserve evidence, property and assets and order the attendance of witnesses in LMAA arbitrations.

Special advisor
Peter Adams, head of maritime security, Maritime Safety Division at IMO has been appointed as special advisor to the Secretary-General on maritime security. The appointment of the special advisor will support the provision of assistance and advice at the highest levels in IMO on maritime security matters and facilitate external engagement to support IMO efforts regarding cyber attacks, piracy and armed robbery against ships, stowaways, drug smuggling, and other unlawful maritime activities.

VDR appointment
German Shipowners’ Association (VDR) elected Gaby Bornheim, managing director of Peter Döhle Schiffahrts-KG as the association’s new president. As planned, this brings an end to the tenure of Captain Alfred Hartmann, who has led the association since the beginning of 2015. Bornheim is a lawyer with a doctorate in law.

Fuel of the future
DNV will be holding a conference to bring together industry leaders from across the shipping and logistics value chain to explore how to fuel a more sustainable future through collaboration. The event will take place on 11th January 2022.

Register now to reserve your complimentary ticket and block your calendar.

Please notify the Editor of your appointments, promotions, new office openings and other important happenings:

And finally,

With thanks to Paul Dixon

Old accountants never die, they just lose their balance.

Old actors never die, they just drop apart.

Old architects never die, they just lose their structures.

Old bankers never die, they just lose interest.

Old basketball players never die, they just go on dribbling.

Old beekeepers never die, they just buzz off.

Old bookkeepers never die, they just lose their figures.

Old cashiers never die, they just check out.

Old chauffeurs never die, they just lose their drive.

Old cleaning people never die, they just kick the bucket.

Old doctors never die, they just lose their patience.

Old electricians never die, they just lose contact.

Old hardware engineers never die, they just cache in their chips.

Old hippies never die, they just smell that way.

Old lawyers never die, they just lose their appeal.

Old limbo dancers never die, they just go under.

Old mathematicians never die, they just disintegrate.

Old musicians never die, they just get played out.

Old owls never die, they just don’t give a hoot.

Old photographers never die, they just stop developing.

Old policemen never die, they just cop out.

Old schools never die, they just lose their principals.

Old sewage workers never die, they just waste away.

Old steelmakers never die, they just lose their temper.

Old students never die, they just get degraded.

Walt Disney didn’t die.  He’s in suspended animation.

Old preachers never die, they just ramble on, and on, and on, and on….

Old ministers never die, they just get put out to pastor….

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Maritime Advocate Online is a fortnightly digest of news and views on the maritime industries, with particular reference to legal issues and dispute resolution. It is published to over 20,000 individual subscribers each week and republished within firms and organisations all over the maritime world. It is the largest publication of its kind. We estimate it goes to around 60,000 readers in over 120 countries.