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Editorial: Winds Of Change

Chennai, 28 April 2021:

Offshore wind as a renewable energy source is not only one of the fastest growing sector, but it is also set to outpace other renewable energy as well. It is estimated that wind (onshore and offshore) will contribute 18% of total power generation by 2050. The challenge now is to meet this requirement as the industry has put out a call for such professionals.

Ship management, as the name suggests, deals with the process of managing a ship. Ship management is done by independent companies which use ships of some other companies or independent owners.

The ship management company manages ships for the owner and pays him the yearly amount which is settled between the owner and the ship management company.

Moreover, the owner of the ship signs a contract and leases the ship to the ship management company for a defined duration of time. The ship owner may continue with the same management company or can approach another company if he is not satisfied with the performance of a particular ship management company.

It is to note that the owner can lease the ship completely or he can render some of the services provided by the ship management companies.

This is where Wilhelmsen Ship Management comes in as they are strategically positioned to provide skilled and experienced manpower thanks to their wealth of experience in managing maritime assets. Wilhelmsen’s first foray into the sector was back in 2015 when it was awarded the contract to manage DolWin Beta, the world’s largest offshore wind power platform. Since then, the firm has continued to deepen and expand its pool of trained offshore wind manpower.

Seafarers are attuned to the conditions of working at the sea, hence they are one of the best candidates to work on offshore wind platforms. There are many similarities between the marine and offshore wind industry working environment.

Tomasz Macanko is part of the Wilhelmsen Ship Management crew, currently deployed as a Site Manager at one of the client’s offshore transformer station. Prior to this, he was a chief engineer for offshore vessels.

“The transition (from marine to offshore wind) was seamless as all my certifications are still valid. Having said that, there’s a lot that I need to learn, and this was mostly done through on the job training,” says Tomasz. He believes these similarities has allowed him to make the career change easily.

Another seafarer Artur Walus. He is currently the Nautical Offshore Manager who also agrees on the similarity of the working environment. In terms of qualification and certification, seafarers meet the basic requirement to join the offshore wind industry.

“The additional qualification needed is the boat transfer certificate,” explains Artur, who was previously a chief officer on one of Wilhelmsen Ship Management’s managed vessels. Both Tomasz and Artur are deployed to the operation and maintenance of client’s offshore wind farm.

The industry embraces reliability-centred maintenance (RCM) philosophy as its main maintenance regime. RCM aims to achieve the right preventive maintenance activities for the right component at the right time to reach the most cost-efficient solution.

Like in any industry, communication is a crucial element to ensure safety and work efficiency. With Artur’s responsibilities, he could not stress enough the importance of communication skills to co-ordinate the decks, logistics and communication between vessels in and around the platform.

Having strong interpersonal skills are important when working with a team that is made up of a diverse background. Both Tomasz and Artur believe they are on the right side of the history by working in the renewable energy sector and doing their part for climate change. Their love for the sea remains and thrives on satisfaction they get from overcoming the challenges they face.

Managing ships is not an easy task. Ship management includes several tasks which are to be carried out before, during and after the operation of the ship. The first and foremost thing that a ship management company needs to do is get the ship approved.

There are many approvals that are to be taken from different classification societies. However, the company can operate different types of vessels or just concentrate on any one type.


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