Vessels used in our group's business are procured from domestic and overseas shipyards. We assign an appropriate number of resident supervisors with technical expertise to each project to supervise construction, to ensure a safe construction process and a top-quality vessel that precisely meets our needs.
Shipbuilding supervisors have the following three duties at the shipyard:
They work on-site at the shipyard for one to two years from the initial stage (about a month after steel cutting) to the completion of the vessel.
With the goal of effectively maintaining the safety of our operated vessels, MOL formulated the first edition of the "MOL Safety Standard Specifications" in the aftermath of serious marine incidents in 2006, and since then has been revising it accordingly. Serious incidents such as collisions and groundings, fires, sinking, loss of hull stability, and oil spills and other environmental pollution can have a huge impact on both society at large and the group's profitability, not to mention the loss of trust from customers and other stakeholders. In FY2016, we expanded the scope of the specifications to include workplace accidents.
"MOL Standards" systematically compile knowledge and expertise-gained through many years of experience in ship operation. This includes countermeasures for issues such as inferior quality oil, which inhibits ship operation, effective maintenance procedures, and policies and practices that contribute to life saving, security, and environmental protection, based on extensive technical and economic analysis.
Some of these countermeasures are as follows. (Click Countermeasures to see the details.)
The bridge is the nerve center of a merchant ship. MOL has adopted the "integrated bridge" approach, which clarifies the bridge position of officers on duty and ensures their traffic flow and communication lines by integrating instruments and gauges in one central location. In addition, they can obtain updates on ever-changing conditions surrounding the vessel more quickly than with a standard bridge layout, allowing them to make swifter, better decisions regarding vessel operating safety.
* BRM：Bridge Resource Management (BRM)
BRM prevents human errors or remedies the effects of those errors at an early stage. The concept is based on making the best use of human resources (captain, officers, and other crewmembers on deck) and resources such as information available on the bridge.
MOL verified the effectiveness of iridium satellite mobile phones as a backup to existing telecommunications equipment when an engine room fire resulted in an electric power outage on an MOL Group-managed vessel. In response, we have established iridium satellite mobile phones as a backup for existing communications equipment so that communications with the outside world can be carried out smoothly in the event of an emergency. They are installed not only on new vessels but also on existing vessels.
The Safe Operation Support Center (SOSC) monitors and supports operating vessels based on information obtained from various systems and external information. This section introduces the ship motion monitoring system and the stranding risk monitoring system, which are representative of these systems.
SPIRIT (Sustainable Platform with Intellectual Resource and Innovative Technology), released in January 2021, is a system capable of monitoring where our company vessels are around the world and in what kind of weather and sea conditions.
In addition to monitoring at SOSC, the system is also used by operators and company personnel to support the vessel.
This system can monitor not only weather and sea conditions, but also pirates, exercises, high risk areas (HRA), and other information while comprehensively assessing risks. Since April 2022, the vessel's navigation plan has been incorporated into the system to further strengthen support.
Fleet Intelligence Navigational Risk Monitoring is a grounding risk monitoring system that combines a number of data sources, such as ship position, water depth, and chart information, to alert SOSC operators when a vessel is judged to be entering an area with a high risk of grounding.
The system was put into full operation at the end of January 2022 to prevent a recurrence of the WAKASHIO grounding accident that occurred on July 25, 2020. SOSC, which monitors vessels in operation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, constantly monitors the system and initiates the system when an alert is issued.