By Olav Nortun, Chief Executive Officer, Thome Group
Happy New Year and welcome to this first edition of the Thome Group News for 2020.
As you are all aware, we are facing a period of disruption to our normal business operations as direct result of the novel coronavirus “COVID-19” outbreak.
I know this is a worrying time for you and your families but you can be assured that the Thome Group is doing everything it can to minimise the risks to its employees by ensuring that the company follows the practises and procedures as laid down by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The situation is dynamic and evolving. We are monitoring the situation daily in the countries and ports our vessels are visiting in case extraordinary measures need to be taken. Likewise, we monitor the situation in the countries around the world where our staff are located and follow up on advice from local health authorities.
Our theme for this issue is ‘waste management’. This is an extremely important and critical subject as failure to comply with IMO regulations and Port State Control inspections can result in detentions and huge fines.
The articles in this issue address the key processes which must be followed by all vessels to ensure that we remain compliant at all times.
Keeping accurate records is paramount with regards to waste disposal particularly Oil and Garbage Record Books which must be maintained regularly.
Another important area this year is, of course, the sulphur cap 2020 regulations, introduced last 1 January 2020. Our initial experience is that PSC officers are already very strictly enforcing compliance with little or no tolerance for any noncompliance so we must ensure we are fully prepared before any PSC inspection.
One of the key ways we can achieve this is via our pre-arrival PSC readiness checklists and enhanced guidance for high risk ports which can provide additional information on compliance. If Masters are pre-warned about specifics before entering a port then at least they can be prepared and ready when inspectors come on board.
On a positive note, I am pleased to report that our efforts to minimise any negative impact on the planet have been recognised by an industry award which highlighted the Group’s use of an ‘Environment’ module in the NAU app.
As many of you will be aware, this module monitors the daily accumulation and disposal of machinery space bilges and sludge on board across all managed vessels. Vessel managers are alerted when there is any excessive build-up beyond set benchmarks so corrective action can be applied.
I hope you enjoy reading the articles in this issue and let’s keep up the good work and re-double our efforts to manage our waste responsibly.