It’s no secret the shipping industry has been through tough squalls in the past few years, writes Philippe Despagne. However, there have been pockets of growth in offshoring and BRIC countries, particularly Brazil and China. Investments in technology have also helped spur innovation and help ship operators adhere to regulations while keeping an eye to their bottom line.
Offshoring has been one of the key growth areas for ship building. The focus in the segment has been driven by the notable uptick in the conversions of Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) to FPSO (Field Production Storage Operation) or to FSO (Field Storage operation).
Additional areas for further development lie within China and Brazil. According to the analyst firm Research and Markets, the Chinese ship building industry is one of the fastest growing in the world, noting investors are optimistic of strong long-term growth of the overall Asia Pacific ship building industry.
Brazil became a key interest for ship building 4-5 years ago when large oil fields were discovered. Since then there has been an increased focus on oil transportation. In the next few years there are further growth opportunities expected, like inland waterway transportation and offshore support vessels. Honeywell Marine is already well positioned in this segment with solutions that provide reliable and safe liquid measurement to ship owners.
Finally, innovation and technology has been a bright spot for the industry. By investing in newer technologies, such as systems and solutions to monitor and optimize the fuel consumption, ship operators are able to further benefit from increased fuel efficiency, resulting in bottom line savings and overall emission reductions.
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Philippe Despagne is General Manager, Honeywell, Bourges, France. www.honeywellmarine.com