Shipping experts discuss decarbonisation and technology

During ABS’ event in Athens, representatives from the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Chevron Shipping Company and Clarkson Research Services, gathered to discuss the role technology plays in the shipping industry and the path to IMO 2050.

Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and CEO, one amongst other panellists, noted that the shipping industry is circled from rapid changes and barriers; New fuels, new approaches to vessel design and operation and technology transformation are needed in order for the industry to be able to conduct a sustainable transition to a low carbon model.

He continued that the digital age is in need of collaboration between experts and people with innovative ideas aiming to open the doors to the future. He also added that the shipping industry should be comfortable with the uncertainty that follows the journey to 2050, keeping in mind that the industry will work together to develop and deploy technologies that will help them achieve 2050 goals. In the meantime, digitalization growth also means that the maritime sector will pay attention to safety and the people that along with machines help the sector move forward.

Mr Wiernicki added that

“The digital age requires collaboration … We must become very comfortable with uncertainty on the journey to 2050 as we work together to develop and deploy technologies that will get us to 2050 while never compromising safety or forgetting that people are the engine that drive this industry forward.”

Mr Dimitris Fafalios, UGS, highlighted that the development means that sectors diverge; Therefore, each sector in the shipping industry should learn to respect and appreciate each other in order to achieve their common goal.

Mr Fafalios commented

“This requires true collaboration on the journey to 2050 among every owner, operator, charterer, supplier, classification society and seafarer, as each is critical to our industry’s success.”

Captain Phil M. Davies, Chevron Shipping Company, also added that the shipping industry has come a long way in terms of digitalization, noting that data is the new fuel.

Prof. Michael Triantafyllou said informed that it is easy to become overwhelmed by data and digital technologies. Digital twins will be a powerful and enabling tool that will transform our industry and will extend asset life and servicing on an as-needed basis rather than being held to a calendar-based timeframe.

Concluding, the other panellist, Martin Stopford, non-executive President of Clarkson Research Services Ltd., who also moderated the event concluded that the panel was powerful and the discussion concluded that the sector will shape a remarkable journey ahead of everyone in the industry.

The event, at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, explored practical challenges around implementing digital and decarbonization technologies.