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Training on operating LNG-fuelled vessels may gain momentum


Its take-up would be propelled by high demand for greener ships

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is touted as the cleanest fossil fuel and an excellent alternative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat global warming. The world’s top ship builders – China and Korea are actively building LNG-powered vessels to address climate issues. However, these ships would not be effective without skilled crew.

Net zero-centred upskilling
Last November, Allan Dickson, Second Engineer said at the Maritime Skills Commission (MSC) Green Skills Forum that there is a burning need for maritime professionals to receive training in environmental friendly skills and technologies. On the urgency of seafarers having to keep up with the transition to net zero through training, Dickson stressed, “We need to look at how we retrain the existing workforce with the skills of the future, and do not just resign generations of highly-skilled seafarers to the scrap heap (no longer interested).”

Dickson called on the UK government to develop policies to maximise the employment of British seafarers. He noted the lack of training seafarers receive on new fuels and technologies is a problem. While training is available, it is usually very expensive and does not cover the new hybrid systems that are being developed. In Dickson’s defence, all seafarers on gas-fuelled ships should be familiar with the vessel, similar to the standard process in accordance to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea’s (SOLAS) requirements. Crew need to be competent to carry out firefighting operations onboard vessels running on low flashpoint fuels, LNG being one of them.

Today, the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) have included vessels using low flashpoint fuels, and compliant with the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code). It would not be long when LNG and other environmentally friendly fuels-powered vessels become common in the market. From the climate health perspective, versatility across different vessels would be a key skillset for seafarers. Shipowners and charterers can also look to Marine Online’s extensive network for a wide array of maritime training at competitive rates for their seafarers.

Crewing Online News Team
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