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Shipyards should take the lead in building greener ships, urges GL boss

Shipyards should take the lead in building greener ships, urges GL boss

Hamburg: Weighing into the carbon debate, a leading figure from the classification sector has called on shipyards to emulate the automotive industry and start series production of greener vessels.

"The current situation where ship owners defer newbuilding deliveries is a golden opportunity to take advantage of the extra time to modify designs and specify smaller, more fuel efficient propulsion systems with lower service speeds," said  Dr Hermann Klein, executive board member of Germanischer Lloyd and chairman of the International Association of Classification Societies.

"Discussions between owners and builders on adjustments to the original order specification are being conducted, which is a hopeful sign," Dr Klein told delegates at last week's Senior Maritime Forum conference at Marintec China. "Unless designs of ships now in the pipeline but not yet under construction are modified, they could be technically redundant by the time they enter service."

Klein went on to characterise the present as 'a golden chance for ship yards to accommodate forward thinking ship owners... (and) generate new demand for greener vessels.' Shipyards would do well to copy the 'brand policy' of automobile manufacturers, he suggested, and develop "innovative vessels with a clear recognition of quality workmanship, innovative energy management, lower operation costs and highly standardized production lines. Like in the car industry, ships have to be standardized with a high flexibility on extras." [10/12/09]