News Article 06/12/2005 B

TMSA- at a cost? (Tanker Operator November/ December 2005, p.1)

06/12/2005 - Tanker Operator November/ December 2005, p.1

Frighteningly high tanker operating costs are associated with complying with TMSA scheme, leading tanker owners claim

The cost of putting a company through the Tanker Management Self-Assessment Scheme (TMSA) could amount to an extra $50,000-$70,000 per vessel per year on operating costs, TankerOperator's Maritime Europort conference was told. Several observations were made by the various speakers and delegates about the burden put upon them in complying with TMSA in terms of time, operating costs and purchasing software.

According to International Business Solutions' managing director Apostolos Belokas, the cost of setting up a planned maintenance system alone may reach $20,000 per vessel, which is mainly down to the software required. Obviously, once a system has been installed then the daily operating cost for that system will be considerably reduced.

Smaller companies might not survive, due to the extra workload burden which brings with it these extra costs. Those that will continue will probably have to rely on third party ship management concerns, Drewry' Kamar Zaman said, echoing Marinvest' Lars Mossberg's comments at TankerOperator's slo conference in June. Zaman thought it would cost around $45,000 per ship extra just to ensure continuity of staff, which several people said was vital for cost savings.

Retention of sea staff was also close to Andriaki Shipping'' Antonios Vrondissis heart. He said that Andriaki has a 97% retention rate on sea staff, which reduces the training costs. He also commented that looking at inventory management was the way to see a return on the investment in planned maintenance and stock control systems.

The shear scale of the man hours involved and the costs associated with them to provide the reports for the key performance indicators (KPIs) was highlighted by Ulysses' Panteleimon Pantelis. He estimated that this would require 300 man hours per year for the master, chief engineer let alone shore-based superintendents, quality managers and so on.

For a large fleet, training will be another cost burden. One company at the top end of the numbers game is NYK Shipmanagement with 758 vessels. Managing director Aswin Atre reckoned that ship specific training would cost around $8 mill for the first year alone. This massive figure would not include the shore staff, he stressed. Atre also said he thought that the extra TMSA cost burden spread over a VLCC's annual operating costs would in the region of $60,000-$70,000 per year.

Endorsing this view, Seaworld Management and Trading's Captain Michael Reppas said that the initial software expenditure would be in the region of $10,000-$15,000 per module. In addition, risk management techniques need to be introduced into the company and on board ship, which would lead to intensive crew training, resulting in the figure of an extra $60,000 per ship for the first year being forecast.

OSG' Captain Panos Hatzikyriakos said that his company was already running software on board its managed vessels. He said that suitable software would reduce the need for training and also reduce the workload, which he claimed was the greatest expense. He gave an example of 10 years ago when it took five days to complete an MGA and two days to complete a loading calculation without the aid of software.

Kostas Polydakis, technical manager of Athenian Sea Carriers, said his company had slightly underestimated the figures involved. He explained that during the past four years, Athenian Sea Carriers has installed planned maintenance systems (PMS) on board 12 newbuildings. The cost was around $70,000-$80,000 for the first vessel due to company customisation and deployment and around $50,000 for the second if not of a similar type to the first. However, an exact sister vessel would cost next to nothing as the system should be identical.

As for the timescale, he said that a PMS system should be in place about five months before the tanker is due to be delivered. He also warned that a PC on board was now getting to the stage where it was a requirement. However, there are still some seafarers that cannot see the advantages of having software on board their vessels, he claimed.