7th Forum on STS Best Practices - IKMAL & SNI

By Capt. Raymond Ambrose - Vice President SNI

President of Singapore Nautical Institute Receiving His Memento From President of IKMAL

Ever since SNI promulgated the SNI Best Practices Forum, their objective was always to be an ASEAN centric voice for the Best Practices of STS operations. The goal was, still is and always shall be ZERO incidents for all aspects of STS operations. The safe guarding of life, property and environment is paramount for all stakeholders in STS operations and more so the two Shipmasters involved in the STS operations. The Masters of course have a bounden duty. The POAC (person in overall advisory control) or STS Supt has equal  burden even though they are there in an Advisory capacity. Such is one complication in every STS operation. A consensus of 3 very experienced Mariner  individuals, with 2 being responsible and one being advisory, is always required.

On such a basis of STS, the 7th STS Best practices Forum was held on the 17th of Nov in KL Malaysia. This was a first step  in the direction of the ASEAN centric approach. To support, guide, assist, encourage, promote this event, SNI joined hands with its sister organisation north of the Causeway, IKMAL.

It was Joint IKMAL SNI STS  Best Practices Forum. The STS Best Practices Forum was opened with the welcome speech from the President of IKMAL Dato Jamail. The attendees were a 110 strong. They came from as far away as USA and UK and closer origins such as Maldives, Indonesia. Needless to say that Malaysia was very strongly represented through the superb efforts of IKMAL and of course Singapore had its fair representation especially through SNI and the several STS service providers.

A very important fact of the STS Best Practices Forum was the support of the Marine Department of Malaysia. The Director General Dato Haji Baharin  was guest of Honour and gave an extremely welcoming, informative, supportive, encouraging speech to the STS business and its continuous pursuit of always conducting STS with Best Practices. The STS Best Practices Forum was further honoured that such an important government official who has under his domain of responsibility, some 50 or more ports and some thousands of nautical miles of Maritime waters, stayed on for the full morning session. Clearly, the quality of the subject matters of the presentations were of significance to him that he gave his invaluable time.  

His Deputy Dato Capt Jailani, was an equal in his presentation. He provided facts to support the safety record however never resting on those laurels he emphasized ongoing vigilance in continuous monitoring to ensure that only those who were really suitable and operated safely would be permitted to conduct STS in Malaysian waters. He declared the going forward, audits would be carried out and a small fee would be levied for STS operations. Dato Capt Jailani also did lay out all the conditions for securing a STS permit in Malaysian waters. He very very generously declared that his presentation was available to all and that it was all public information.

The STS Best Practices Forum as part of the objectives, had OCIMF main body represented by Capt Jeremy Hudson (Shell); OCIMF  STS Focus Group represented by Capt Andy Bickerdike (Chevron) and the SNI STS Steering Committee Chairman Capt Puthucode (Chevron) as presenters with all updates of Global STS operations. A significant point to  note is that OCIMF is reviewing the STS Self Assessment for the STS providers. It is reviewing the MEG for the 4th edition. Any stakeholder in STS is welcome to contribute comments to support the publications. The best way is through SNI for the ASEAN region.

The programme for those who missed it is as below.

The other highlight of the Forum was that the presenters covered the majority of stakeholders’ interests in STS operations.  The subjects also covered LNG and LPG STS operations. With LNG becoming more and more the green way in the supply and use of energy supply, it was very timely that safe LNG STS operations were also discussed.

STS equipment, legal aspects and actual STS related incidents were shared with all of the audience so as to demonstrate that all in STS operations always need to be ever vigilant of the possibility of incidents occurring despite the training and safety management systems. All have to be ever vigilant. Since Chatham House Rules were practised and this was loudly announced at appropriate times during the STS Best Practices Forum, there was no apprehension on the part of the presenters to share that “yes, we had an incident, yes we made  a mistake, we are sharing with you so that you do not make the same mistakes and have that mistake cause human life to  be affected”

This must be looked at as a humongous achievement especially in ASEAN where the “blame” culture still persists in some quarters of the Maritime Industry and near miss reporting (now being called learning opportunities reporting) has a poor record and is an ongoing challenge.

Both the panel sessions were very well chaired, with that burden equally shared between SNI and IKMAL. The Chairmen were given strict instructions by the MC of the Forum, Capt Abdul Aziz. Both Capt Sam Say SNI and Capt Abdul Rahim Akob IKMAL were instructed on the 3 minutes and 1 minute warning bell to the presenters and they were also guided that they could throw the bell (not book) at the speaker if they did not stop. This of course all said in jest. For added attractiveness or should I say effectiveness, SNI Secretary Irene Loh , event coordinator from SNI. The next STS Forum is planned for 17th May 2017.Please mark your calendars and please watch your SNI calendar of events for updates.

All the material from the various presenters can be found on the SNI website with a link. If there is difficulty please contact your Council Member. Closing comments, presentations and thanks were given by Capt Francis Koh, President SNI.

It was a HUGELY successful event as mentioned by audience and speakers and IKMAL. Many thanks to ALL in SNI who supported, attended and sponsored. Special thanks to the SNI STS Forum Committee of Capt James Lim and Capt Lansakara.

Event Highlights

Speakers from the morning session together with chairperson Capt Sam Say -SNI

Speakers from the afternoon session together with Chairperson
Capt Abdul Rahim Akob of IKMAL and SNI  President Capt. Francis Koh