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A Dream Come True

 
It was really a dream come true when I was invited onboard first Pakistani double hull tanker M.T. QUETTA built in 2003 with a summer dead weight of 107215 MT, generally termed as AFRAMAX TANKER. Pakistan has tankers, but either single hull or with segregated ballast tanks, all under CAS and phasing out schedule.

On the first sight of this beauty I could not restrain myself appreciating the good decision of the management to enter the double hull tanker fleet before existing tankers are phased out. I did find the vessel excellently maintained and managed by professionals of Pakistan Merchant Marine, inferior to none. I was particularly impressed by the good knowledge of Chief Engineer, Master and other staff of the vessel.

My attachment to new regulation of double hull tanker and phasing out of single hull tankers goes back to 2003, when I represented as expert to draft new regulations on tankers in Maritime environmental protection committee of International Maritime Organisation based at London. I can't forget the night oil burned by most professional team to adopt the definitions proposed by EU and also incorporating Oil Pollution Act of 1990 of USA.

We, at IMO agreed, bearing in mind sad incidents of Exxon valadez, Erika, prestige and also Tasman Spirit that carriage of most polluting types of heavy grades of oil need amendments to Anex I of Marpol 73/78 Convention to which Pakistan is signatory by ratification. The EU block insisted that heavy fuel oil carriage by single hull tankers be restricted by April 2005 near EU coast.

It was also agreed that, any coastal state may deny the right of entry to single hull tankers but due to our insistence, not to impose EU, restrictions and time be allowed to developing countries to phase out, we were accommodated to some extent.

The MEPC agreed to speed up gradual phasing out of single hull tankers notwithstanding a number of limited exemptions, single hull tankers will not be allowed operation beyond 2010. We agreed to enhanced inspection of single hull tankers from the age of 15 years to detect structural weaknesses.

I recall that in freezing winter of December 2003, the final decision to amend Annex I of Marpol conventions 73/78 was taken during the 50th session of MEPC on 4th December 2003 at IMO London and approved by the Assembly. The EU bloc was the driving force to enforce double hull measures and stringent safety measures as per SOLAS to entire world fleet.

The IMO through the marine pollution convention, made double hull tankers mandatory by regulation 13 F. The US OPA'90 became mandatory to world-wide fleet. It was also agreed that all new tankers will meet IMO type 2 hull as per IBCC. While debating, the MEPC also took note of defects in double hull tankers.

I was pleased to see that our first Pakistani Tanker QUETTA complies to Solas requirement of ballast tank coatings as envisaged. Double hull tankers have been seen as the safest alternative to single hull tonnage. It was interesting to see that our M.T. Quetta complies with stringent requirements of SOLAS for tankers and is fitted with inert gas systems as inert gas system is mandatory to tankers of 20000 tons DWT and above.

The new tanker is complying with equipment duplication as per SOLAS which makes steering gears of tankers to be duplicated. I was impressed to see the vessel equipped with navigational equipments also duplicated and maintained excellently.

The tanker was also fitted with mandatory towing arrangements and also complying with MARPOL 73/78 requirements of reducing the consequences of accidents ie stability /sub-division etc. I did see the protective location of segregated ballast tanks, thus reducing the spill after accident.

The world, unlike us, is very conscious of pollution and NGOs like Green Peace, in addition to Port State Control, keep a strict eye. IMO is the international clearing house and is the keeper of a body of International treaties aimed at safety, security and pollution.

I remained involved at IMO in framing safety, security ISPS code and environmental regulations along with members having specialised skill in different faculties of Maritime and environmental sciences, thus everyday was education and flow of knowledge.

I must honestly admit that in spite of framing rules and standards for world-wide shipping, it was my first experience in life physically boarding a double hull tanker and that too of my own country flying Pakistan Flag. It could be anybody's guess how proud I felt that Pakistan has entered into advanced field of double hull tankers.

I am quite sure that this vessel is just the beginning and now falling freight/market will affect the price of double hull tankers, which may have cost 70 mill USD plus to our public sector Pak Flag. The prices will come down.

I must admit that physically inspecting the state of art ship M.T. Quetta fitted with latest technology of B&W main engines and navigations equipment was education to a person who was part of framing rules at IMO for double hull tankers. Heraclitus remarked that "learning is only a means to an end, which is understanding and understanding is the ultimate value in education."

The world-wide recession is taking its toll and I would suggest that our only ship-owning company to take advantage of falling prices by replacing outdated vessels with new tonnage.

I, congratulate the entire nation and particularly maritime fraternity of Pakistan on induction of State of Art vessel and mariners must visit to see for themselves the latest technology. It sends shivers to me if I am asked to command this beauty after quitting sea about 35 years, as technology has changed so dramatically that Anachronistic or Plebeians, will get shock of their life.

TAIL PIECE There is no denying that education is an essential preparation for life and work in advanced economy and maritime faculties too. Modern economics requires skilled and motivated workers, who can only profit from the opportunities, they afford, if they are equipped to respond to their demands.

The public sector management must turn the recessionary trends, in shipping to opportunity, as it is blessed with leadership which inspires the team and commands the respect and does not demand. The present economic and financial TRS has eye positioned at US and EU.

We are facing lull before the storm and it may take 3/6 months to reach us, thus we may promptly act by inducing strict financial discipline, ban on foreign tours, reducing cost of repairs and maintenance, restraining unions and making counter demands to work 10 hours and asking all service providers to reduce their invoices by 10% so that there is no liquidity crunch and time has proved that conservative organisations can weather any storms.

I have seen the demise of private sector enterprises in my lifetime. The entire maritime fraternity in Pakistan must assist the only Pak Flag bearer public sector company by volunteering to offer solutions to the management, instead of being critical.

The future generation may not forgive Alan Green Span who is responsible for this debacle and his theory that " Profit for private sector and losses for socialisation and tax payers:. I have always subscribed to Keynes, Galbraith and Adam Smith who were balanced and emphasised the need of strong regulatory regime along with public and private sector participation. The right of common and poor be preserved. Gordon Brown has done it and now confused Bush is following.

I have made independent assessment based on my regular interaction with IMO and regional players who all agree to subscribe to stringent international accounting standards and professionally managed regulatory regime. While sighting the six monthly accounts of public sector ship-owning it gives satisfaction, however nobody knows the future, thus leadership must act by inducing austerity measures to keep the organisation afloat and growing.


 

 

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MMSP ELECTION - 2015

Dear Members
kindly note that submission of Nomination form has been extended till 9 May 2015, due to annual dinner event. Ensure that the Nomination form should reach MMSP office on or 9 May 2015.

Regards
Capt. Khawaja Wasiuddin Siddiqi Dupty Election Commissioner

MMSP IS HOLDING ITS ANNUAL DINNER- 2015

To honour
Chief Patron of MMSP and Chief of Naval Staff Who has kindly consented to be the Chief Guest on this Occasion at Convention Hall, Pakistan Maritime Museum Near Karsaz, Karachi,
on Friday, the 24 April 2015

at 2000 hrs

All members and Mariners are requested to collect their cards from MMSP Secretariat.
Ph 32418784
cell 0333-3113265
E-mail: mmsp@super.net.pk 
web: www.mmsp.com.pk
or call Capt. Nusrat Iqbal (GS-MMSP) Cell: 0300-8245399
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PAKISTAN MARINE ACADEMY IN DOLDRUM

If, we go into time Tunnel, the era from 2003-2007, efforts were made to convert Pakistan Marine Academy to Pakistan Maritime University, so that different faculties of Maritime education may be established locally.

 

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Monthly Meeting :

 

May 14, 2015

Executive Committee Meeting of Master Mariner Society of Pakistan will be held at 17.30 Hrs. at Room No 18, Old Ralli Brothers Building, Talpur Road, Karachi.

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