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NITC brings cruise-like comfort to tankers

NITC brings cruise-like comfort to tankers

Seoul: NITC's 320,000dwt Marbat, delivered just two weeks ago from South Korean shipbuilder Samsung is the first VLCC to have DNV's highest "comfort" notation - COMF-V(1). As a result, seafarers working on board this ultra-modern vessel will enjoy noise and vibration levels similar to those prevailing on many of the world's cruise ships.

The move reflects a growing trend amongst ship owners and offshore operators to improve the working conditions for seafarers aboard their ships. Most recognise that attracting and retaining well-trained crews is one of the biggest challenges facing both the maritime and offshore sectors. As of this month, there are now more than 400 vessels with DNV's comfort notation.

The notation, which comes in three different ratings, 1 being the highest, follows extensive research carried out by the classification society and Norwegian oil company Statoil into the effects of noise, vibration and climate in the offshore shipboard environment. A direct correlation between noise and vibration levels and the number of accidents was identified and, as a result, Statoil has now adopted a strategy of using only offshore vessels with COMF notation. This has proved a challenge for designers because crew accommodation is usually located directly above the machinery space and dynamically positioned vessels have their engines in constant use.

NITC chairman Mohammad Souri is a scheduled speaker at the Seatrade Sustainability Seminar taking place at the PSA Building in Singapore on October 14. [20/05/08]