Shipmanagers plan ahead
BSM is steadily expanding its managed fleet in Singapore. Managing director of BSM Singapore Bob Maxwell said that the fleet managed in Singapore has grown to more than 90 ships, aggregating over 5 million dwt. Its managed fleet is expected to continue growing through 2017. The main growth area currently is gas carriers. “Gas carriers is our main focus for development, including floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) and small-scale LNG, especially in Indonesia.”
He pointed out that Singapore is BSM’s largest shipmanagement centre and the fastest growing, “based on the strength and experience of our shipmanagement team
located in Singapore”.
In addition to traditional technical and crewing management services, he said: “BSM is developing the breadth of services that we offer. For example, we offer a vessel decommissioning service through China, which is environmentally compliant with the Hong Kong Convention [The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships]. We also provide a vessel lay-up service, for either warm or cold lay-up, and make recommendations on the most appropriate locations.”
Mr Maxwell said that BSM is continuing to focus on operational efficiency in difficult market conditions. “Compliance issues will continue to be important. There is still some confusion about the implementation of requirements for ballast water treatment systems.”
He commented that onboard systems are now much more complex. “Electronic fuel injection systems, remote control and monitoring systems, for example, require specialist knowledge from superintendents. Meeting upcoming marine fuel and emissions regulations also poses challenges for owners and managers.” He highlighted the European Union’s mandatory monitoring, reporting and verification regime as an area of concern and uncertainty.
“Shipowning and management remain our core services but we are also expanding into other market segments, such as cruise, oil and gas production vessels, and – in due course – offshore support vessels, when that market comes back. We expect that when it does, oil and gas majors will be more cost conscious than in the past,” Mr Maxwell told Singapore Solutions.
BSM is also focusing on recruiting, retaining and training high crew. “There is an issue of the growing need to recruit seafarers with digital knowledge and experience.”
The company is set on entering the cruise industry in a big way, reflecting the fact that this is one of the few maritime sectors that is growing fast at present. BSM has formed a joint venture with Optimum Ship Management Services, part of Celestyal Cruises. “We are particularly focusing on the growing expedition cruise ship market. We are not yet providing that service in Singapore but will do so shortly on a targeted basis, including markets in Southeast Asia and China.”
BSM is also looking at potential small-scale LNG operations in Indonesia. “We need to consider specific issues there, including shallow draught port restrictions, so we will need to involve small vessels and possibly barges.” This project is still under discussion.
Interview by 'Singapore Solutions', published by Riviera Maritime Media