Mitsui OSK Line made a firm commitment to install Bridge Navigational Watch and Alarm Systems (BNWAS) on board its ships ahead of regulatory requirements. The company has taken the opportunity of the drydocking of 17 of its vessels so far this year to install the Martek Marine Navgard BNWAS. MOL said it was likely that all of its existing vessels would be fitted with BNWAS before the end of 2011.
Under the terms of the revised SOLAS regulations new passenger vessels and cargo ships greater than 150gt have had to implement BNWAS since July 2011. However, existing passenger ships and cargo vessels greater than 3,000gt can wait until July 2012 before BNWAS becomes mandatory, while existing cargo ships of between 500gt and 3,000gt can wait until July 2013, and those between 150 and 500gt until July 2014.
Alan Stewart, MOL Tankship Management (Europe) Ltd Deputy General Manager explained that the carrier had already witnessed an increasing frequency of comments by SIRE inspectors regarding whether or not a BNWAS was fitted. He said that MOL had decided on a course of “being proactive and not waiting until the last minute, as is usual in the marine industry”.
Martek’s Navgard system was able to demonstrate that it had all necessary approvals, Mr Stewart said, while the company had been able “to solve any challenges that arose”.
The latest deal follows hard on the heels of a contract through which Martek is supplying its Navgard BNWAS to Seacom Electronics, the UK subsidiary of global ship management services giant V.Ships.