The priority for most vessel operators is to ensure they stay up to date and in compliance with incoming environmental regulation. This can be onerous when vessels must be prepared to sail in waters covered by differing regional as well as global rules.
It is prudent to keep an eye on voluntary compliance programs, since they can develop quickly into compulsory programs, complete with fines, penalties and potential civil liability exposure as well. An example is ballast water treatment.
Additional hardwares such as exhaust gas scrubbers and ballast water treatment systems lead to additional pressures on crew, who must be offered training and acquire new competencies to safely operate it. A few operators indicated a keenness to switch vessels to alternative fuels, including LNG and LPG.
A major criteria here is the availability or not of adequate bunkering infrastructure. Many are also keeping an eye on new innovations (such as Flettner rotors) and the potential of renewable energy sources.
Conte Cicala, Clyde & Co, San Francisco
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