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HANSA 01-2019

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Schifffahrt | Shipping A

Schifffahrt | Shipping A big focus on family business Global ship management group Thome is celebrating 55 years in service. For HANSA, Chairman Olav Eek Thorstensen takes an exclusive look back and forward Strategy for the next 55 years« Thome has a philosophy of »continual improvement«. This means harnessing the benefits of new technology to make operational procedures more efficient which saves time and money. An example of this is the investment in an operations hub at Singapore which has enhanced the quality of our ship management services and reaction times to emergency responses. Training is key at Thome to ensure seafarers are aware of what is expected of them and the importance of planning and assessing potential risks before carrying out any tasks onboard. Our training academies use the latest training techniques to encourage engagement and seafarers get to practise using the same equipment that they will find when assigned to a vessel. Keeping Thome focused as a family business offering hands-on ship management services has been its strength and we will continue with this strategy moving forward. Looking back The Thome of 1976, when I joined, was a very different company to one it is now. The company’s main focus back then was providing port agency plus brokering and chartering services. At that time, most third party ship consultancy companies offered technical services only with owners undertaking the crewing and back office operations themselves. However, Thome, along with others, realised that we could provide more efficient ship management services and so began its growth in this sector. As the company grew so did the demand for more specialist services and we have branched out into Offshore, Oil & Gas, marine consultancy and expansion in other auxiliary services. We also provide manning services for about 200 vessels and have a pool of seafarers numbering around 12,000. Olav Thorstensen took over sole ownership of the Thome Group in 1981... Looking forward at the market The regulatory requirements relating to ship operation have increased over the years, meaning that the ship managers’ role is changing, becoming more of an integrated maritime service provider with the ability to be able to offer a full suite of services. I think that the Sulphur cap requirement, which comes into force from January 2020, will be one of the biggest tests for the shipping industry, both from a commercial/operational and technical point of view. Its introduction will most likely have a significant impact on the older tonnage, making it 55 years in service Thome Ship Management has come a long way since its inception on 3rd July of 1963 where it undertook mainly agency work for Scandinavian owners and ship brokerage. Since then, it has developed a shipmanagement network with offices and agents worldwide and providing integrated services to the international shipping and offshore industries. 235 commercial vessels are currently under full management. This year, Thome Group reached another milestone in its history as it celebrated its 55 Years Anniversary. At the celebration, a toast was made and led by Thome Group CEO Olav Nortun, Executive Chairman Olav Eek Thorstensen, and President and CCO Claes Eek Thorstensen. Most recently, the group announced that it intends to extend the service for fleet operations and emergency response. A new hub was set up in Singapore specifically for this purpose. The fa- 38 HANSA International Maritime Journal – 156. Jahrgang – 2019 – Nr. 1

Schifffahrt | Shipping more difficult to trade. The result will impact the life of these vessels with a lot being scrapped before they reach 20 years of age. There is also a big question mark over whether there will be enough low-sulphur fuels available at minor ports. For those that choose the scrubber route, there are many considerations to be taken into account, yet time is rapidly running out as the 2020 deadline looms. There is also the Ballast Water Management Convention which came into force in 2017, meaning decisions on system selection should have already been made due to the long installation lead times, yet questions still remain about type approvals and which systems will be recognized by the different PSC authorities. Game changer and chances I also think that, within the next 10 years, big changes will be seen in the structure of ship owning and I expect to see an increase in ships managed by 3rd party ship managers. Due to the lack of finance available from the more traditional institutions that used to provide loan to traditional owners, more vessels will be owned by asset management companies and they will require professional ship managers to run their fleets. This bodes well for ship management especially if ship managers are viewed by these asset owners as more of a partner rather than simply a service provider. n it is still a family run business of Olav and Claes Eek Thorstensen © Thome Some key highlights 1963 The original bearer of the Thome name, Fridtjov Thome, set up Thome & Co in 1963 and undertook agency work mainly for Scandinavian owners, in addition to his chartering and shipbroking activities. 1976 Thome Ship Management is incorporated, and Olav Eek Thorstensen comes onboard. Its Singapore headquarters is set up. 1981 Olav Eek Thorstensen became the sole owner of Thome Group. 2005 Thome continuously expands the business by creating another business unit called Thome Offshore Management Pte, which offers turn-key management solutions for new building, conversion and operation of offshore support vessels. 2010 Thome introduces a new business unit, Thome Oil & Gas Incorporated which offers operations and maintenance on offshore oil and gas installations with strong focus on FSO, FPSO, FSU, production rigs and facilities. cility is integrated into the premises of the corporate headquarters in Singapore. According to a Thome press release, employees are to react more quickly to emergencies and improve the efficiency of fleet operations using state-of-the-art technology. Key activities at the new hub include automatic tracking of individual ships, risk analysis, route planning with greater consideration of weather conditions, camera-based monitoring of onboard operations from shore, and video conferencing with the ship’s command. An important aspect is emergency management. The new technology will make it possible to respond more quickly to emergencies and better assess the situation, allowing better crisis response, they said. For this purpose, individual crisis rooms can be separated at headquarters. Nortun outlined the investment in the Operations Hub which provides up to the minute information on situational awareness by allowing remote tracking of individual ships in the fleet, passage planning, security risk assessment, weather routing, video conferencing, integrated vessel management system implementation, and individual on-board close circuit TV remote monitoring. HANSA International Maritime Journal – 156. Jahrgang – 2019 – Nr. 1 39

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