Greener Shipping Summit 2024 Lays Stress On Alternative Fuels And Seafarer Upskilling

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Alternative fuels and seafarer upskilling took center stage at the ‘Greener Shipping Summit 2024’ held at Posidonia 2024 this week. Under the theme ‘New Technologies and Education’, the thought-provoking summit was organized by Newsfront/Naftiliaki and supported by MARTECMA.

Regulations For Decarbonization 

Dimitris Fafalios, Chairman of INTERCARGO, keynoted the event. He said: “We cannot achieve the IMO goals without safety. Shipping is an extremely broad term covering many sectors: Dry Bulk, Tankers, Gas Carriers, Ro-Ros, Car Carriers, Ferries, Cruise Ships, and more. Shipping, however, can be divided into two basic economic models. The first is Liners, and the second is Tramp/Bulk, which includes all solid, liquid, and gas bulk carriers. To develop the right regulations for decarbonisation and safety, we must help our regulators to understand the fundamental difference between shipping’s two basic economic models…”

Kostas Spyrou, Professor at the School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, said: “It’s hard to imagine the vessel of the future because everything depends on certain factors that can influence the direction technology will take. We can’t be sure what will happen in 15 years, but greener propulsion broadly is the direction. Data is another big friend helping us monitor the behavior of our ships and, in the future, this will become even more important. I also see increased levels of autonomy as an emerging trend.”

Alternative Fuels

 Natassa Kouvertari, Project Manager at the Maritime Decarbonisation Hub, Lloyd’s Register, put the number of seafarers who will require training to safely handle alternative fuels at up to 800,000. “Global naval education is not a dream, but it needs to happen gradually across various levels and clusters. It cannot happen overnight. Decarbonization and digitalization are two areas of shipping where upskilling, hard skilling, and meta-skilling will play an important role for the safety of our crews and vessels. Many training, learning, and development programs are already in place, and the IMO will eventually mandate a curriculum for global adoption.”

Spyrou added: “We need to make teaching a bit more motivating for the trainees and the trainers. Digital skills are a priority at both the academy level and in the retraining of those already in a career. Sustainability is also an important subject that seafarers need to be educated on. Management skills training is also very important, helping seafarers assimilate information and make the right choices when onboard.”

Spyrou went on to say that a big gap exists in Greece on the issue of partnerships between educational institutions and the shipping industry. “We don’t have partnerships between the industry and educational institutions in Greece, unlike what is happening in Norway, where joint partnerships between academia and shipping proliferate. In Greece, we need to build more stable and concrete structures and systems to facilitate this type of collaboration because there is no formal manner to connect the industry with academia.”

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Source: Posidonia

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