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Live From SMM 2014
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Who said what at SMM 2014

As SMM draws to a close we take a look back at who said what over the last week. In a show that showcases technical innovation in the maritime world it was little surprise to issues of environmental regulation, new technologies and safety were high on the agenda.

Speaking at the opening press conference for SMM, Uwe Beckmeyer, parliamentary state secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, and federal government coordinator for the maritime industry, stated: "We need a clear, internationally harmonised regulatory framework to support government backing for ship financing,"

uedaAs ClassNK steps-up R&D into cargo liquefaction with European partners, and chairman Noburu Ueda explained they have a global role in ensuring safer shipping. “Our goal is to support the safe growth and development of the maritime industry, not only in Japan or Asia, but in Europe and all around the world.”

Reed Smith partner Mark O'Neil gave a blunt assessment of the impact of the BP Macondo ruling: "It was a grenade that was thrown into the legal environment. That's a tsunami across the offshore sector, because whether we like it or not, whatever happens in the Gulf of Mexico will affect what happens in legal sectors across the globe."

Maersk Line’s head of sustainability Signe Brun Jensen pleaded for a level playing field in environment regulation enforcement: "Environmental legislation will continue to drive the industry towards a more sustainable future. My plea here, again, will be for a regulatory level playing field for environment, where there are opportunities for first movers to excel and where minimum standards are raised to a certain level.”

Debra DiCianna, senior environmental solutions consultant at ABS, said that shipowners are holding fire on fitting ballast water management solutions to newbuildings: “What we've found out from interactions with shipowners over the past 18 months, and you can probably find out from the vendors on the show floor, is that in the past year the number of purchases of ballast water systems has drastically declined.”

a2seaHans Schneider, coo of A2Sea, explained the challenges to supplying wind turbine installation ships, due to the rapid growth in size of the rotors: “People who are used to working in the maritime industry understand that to handle assets you have a depreciation period between 15 and 30 years. When you have an asset running out of capacity at two years old you have a challenge, and the industry has a challenge."

Rolls-Royce senior vice president Richard Bowcutt said that owners cannot afford to sit on their hands when it comes to dealing with environmental regulation: "You are going to have to do something at some point, sitting there hoping that regulations go away isn't really an option. There is a complex stream of different technologies that require different solutions but regulation is going to happen, it is coming, and it is coming at a pace."

Paul Hailwood of the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office warned 58% of the tanker fleet is not ready for ECDIS. “Yes, less than half the fleet is ready, but it’s not because they are trying to avoid it. It’s more a case of not understanding the complexity of the issue.”

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