AWARDS 2021 | Best Classification Service – DNV

Best Classification Service – DNV (Photo: DNV)

Best Classification Service – DNV

DNV appears in the specifications of huge numbers of the vessels that Baird Maritime reviews that have to be in class. While based in Norway, DNV seems to have a presence almost everywhere.

It seems to completely dominate the market sector that BM focuses on. That includes ferries, particularly fast ones, OSVs, tugs, patrol boats, fishing vessels and many specialised craft. There must be very good reasons for that in terms of quality, service, professionalism and price.

“We believe our clients come to us not just because of our long track record and deep knowledge,” DNV told Baird Maritime, but also because of our forward-looking approach. We invest heavily in research and development to find solutions, together with the industry, that address strategic, operational, or regulatory challenges. Our strong focus on delivering services that are relevant and effective where digital and remote access to experts is essential.”

The company added that two of the greatest challenges of the present time are related to decarbonisation and digitalisation. Customers and partners are looking for an experienced provider to help them steer through an increasingly complex regulatory and technology landscape and the challenges that these pose.

“We want to ensure that the focus on safety is not lost even in the midst of these shifts. New DNV rules and reports put the challenges of new fuels and technologies in the spotlight, to empower our customers to make tough decisions and help them turn strategic uncertainty into confident decision-making.”

The year 2021 was part of DNV’s entry into what the company calls “a decade of opportunities,” and so it wants to take a leading role in shaping the future of the maritime industry.

“Our ambition is to continue our role as a classification society through these major transformations, and at the same time lead the digital transition of assurance in the maritime market and take new third-party roles towards a wider part of the value chain.”

To that end, DNV developed a host of services in 2021. Examples include the EEXI calculator, the “emissions insights dashboard”, and a compliance planner to help customers stay on top of their CO2 monitoring.

“The Compliance Planner a new digital tool that enables customers to easily track the requirements and deadlines of legislation for both individual vessels and entire fleets. The EEXI calculator meanwhile is an easy-to-use self-service tool on Veracity that enables customers to review the required EEXI and calculate the attained EEXI. This is very relevant for those operating larger vessels today (greater than 5,000 tonnes) but is expected to also be a differentiator for smaller vessels as charterers and customers increasingly ask for transparency on actual emissions. The calculator is pre-filled with approved data by DNV.”

The company also introduced the new Abate class notation, which is designed to assist the owners and operators of offshore floating installations to identify and implement measures to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Throughout 2021, DNV released many updates to its rules for ship classification designed to enable the maritime industry to tackle the decarbonisation challenge. These include “Fuel Ready”, a class notation that offers shipowners the option to prepare for a later conversion to multiple different alternative fuel options, and “Gas fuelled ammonia” for ammonia fuelled vessels, to ensure compliance with ever tightening carbon reduction requirements.

“The MarHySafe joint development project (JDP) brought together a consortium of 26 leading companies and associations, led by DNV, to launch the Handbook for Hydrogen-fuelled Vessels to address the uncertainties surrounding hydrogen as ship fuel. The Handbook for Hydrogen-fuelled Vessels offers a roadmap towards safe hydrogen operations using proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC).”

The previous year also saw a wide range of designers of wind-assisted propulsion systems turn to DNV to provide customers with the confidence to proceed with such systems. The company said that its AIPs, “are demonstrating that new technologies cannot only help them improve sustainability, but follow well established, trusted and independent standards.”

Lastly, in response to the impact of Covid-19 on seafarers, DNV established a separate audit protocol addressing challenges to crew health and well-being and instructed its safety management auditors to specifically address seafarer health, work and living conditions in their audits.

“It’s been a busy year for us and for the industry as a whole,” Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, Maritime CEO at DNV, told Baird Maritime. “Dealing with the unpredictability of the pandemic and the impact that has on everyone’s work and home life, all the while innovating to help our customers stay compliant and competitive – that is no mean feat.”

Ørbeck-Nilssen added that he is optimistic about the future, as rapid advances in technological innovation and constant improvements in ways of working signal that the company is, “on the cusp of a maritime renaissance.”

“I am excited and energised by the industry-wide commitment to meet the greatest challenge maritime has ever faced: decarbonisation. But no single company can drive that development alone and the maritime industry can’t do it alone. The green shift requires rethinking on policy, energy supply, and infrastructure, and so we need to engage and collaborate well beyond our own sandbox.”

Ørbeck-Nilssen clarified that the only way to power the industry towards a truly sustainable future is through collaboration.

“In this context, 2021 can be seen as the year of collaboration with a host of commitments made and initiatives launched. Now the time has come to move from commitment to action.”

When asked about the advances that will be of increasing importance in the maritime classification industry, DNV replied that the focus will be on energy transition, particularly towards environment-friendly alternatives, and digitalisation.

“The maritime energy transition is one of the grand challenges of our time and the shift to alternative fuels has already started, even for deep-sea commercial tonnage,” the company told Baird Maritime. “Regulatory and consumer pressures on shipping to reduce its carbon footprint is increasing, and as a result we can expect the IMO to adopt much stricter environmental targets in the years to come.”

DNV added that the industry needs practical advice and solutions to help keep newbuilds and existing vessels competitive over their lifecycle, and the work boat industry is a perfect place to test and pilot new solutions before scaling the technology to larger vessels.

“New fuels and technologies are changing the risk landscape threatening more incidents at sea. Correctly assessing the technology, fuel, and energy production/infrastructure landscape can enable owners to stay under the carbon reduction trajectories. Ship owners need strategies and practical solutions to stay compliant and competitive, while meeting regulatory and stakeholder requirements. Safety needs to be central in any decision, including the training and upskilling of crew.”

With regards to digitalisation, DNV identified emerging trends in cyber-security, crew shortages, and developments in remote and autonomous shipping.

“The remote and autonomous concepts will probably be scaled first for smaller vessels operating in defined coastal areas, or for vessels engaged in windfarm survey/support/inspection work (e.g. internet- or power cable inspections between offshore fields and the shore). Cyber-attacks are on the rise and as fleets are becoming increasingly interconnected to onshore systems, companies are being exposed to security breaches.”

To highlight the growing threat of cyber-attacks, DNV cited that between February and June 2020, the maritime industry witnessed a 400 per cent increase in such incidents and that even the IMO was not spared during the same period.

“We believe classification as a role is needed to safeguard the operations of today and at the same time help the industry to prepare for safe transition to new fuels and new technology tomorrow,” DNV told Baird Maritime. “The Maritime Forecast to 2050 is a good example of how we can help our industry to understand what options we have when preparing for the future, while addressing relevant aspects of safety and transparency in a responsible manner.”

For a list of the 2021 “Best Of” award winners, please click here.

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