Akzo Nobel's International Paint business has teamed up with Lloyd's Register to offer shipyards in China step-by-step advice on how to prepare to meet the requirements of the new Performance Standard for Protective Coatings (PSPC).
With the shipping industry looking to increase vessel safety and lifecycles by preventing corrosion, this new partnership has been offering interested Chinese shipyards a free consultancy, or "gap analysis" survey.
This survey compares their current processes for coating a ship's water ballast tanks with those that will be required under the new PSPC regulations adopted late last year by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
To date, Lloyd's Register (the world's first classification society) and International Paint have completed gap analyses for four of China's biggest private and state-owned shipyards and have agreements in place to extend this service to many other leading yards in the country.
"The gap analysis we are jointly offering not only gives yards a clear strategy for meeting the challenges of this key regulatory development, it also gives them an idea of which areas need the greatest attention," explained Nick Brown, Lloyd's Register's general manager for business development China. "From there, the yards can start to calculate the extra costs involved before negotiating contracts with prospective buyers.
"Chinese yards in general have been reluctant to sign PSPC contracts before fully understanding these extra costs and so have proven keen to fully understand the impact of new regulations as they look to maintain their international competitiveness," Brown added.
Many yards in Korea, for example, have already begun accepting PSPC-compliant contracts for new vessels. And while ships have yet to be built to the new PSPC regulations, some yard executives believe the process may add 10% to construction costs.
"This is a logical collaboration designed to help yards in China gain the most complete understanding of the new regulations," added Aidan Metcalfe, general manager of International Paint Shanghai. "The workshops also provide a very practical platform for the shipyards to consider their approach to managing the standard across the many functions which are affected.
"International Paint and Lloyd's Register see this as an opportunity to work more closely with our customers providing value beyond either paint supply or normal classification society activities," Metcalfe added.
Tripartite teams formed by Lloyd's Register, International Paint and the shipyard spend two days in each yard assessing the gap between current coating practices and PSPC requirements, which targets extending the coating lifecycle of vessels to 15 years.
Lloyd's Register and International Paint then jointly deliver a presentation to yard senior management and departmental managers. This is a key aspect of the analysis. The main objective is to help the yard understand that, to maximise shipbuilding efficiency, all departments (such as design, procurement, quality, steelwork, outfitting and production) need to consider the requirements of the PSPC, not just the paint department.
Following the presentation, a "gap analysis" report is issued to the yard. A joint commitment to revisit the yard as they develop their procedures, infrastructure and resources is made by Lloyd's Register and International Paint.