BRITANNIA ANNOUNCES NEW EXCLUSIVE CORRESPONDENT IN NEW YORK

Britannia P&I has underlined its commitment to the North American market by establishing a new exclusive correspondent, B Americas P&I, to be based in New York.

B Americas P&I will be headed by MICHAEL UNGER, a leading maritime lawyer with extensive litigation and arbitration experience, who has been known to the Club for many years.  Further recruitment is underway, with the office to be operational by the beginning of April.

B Americas will boost Britannia’s global footprint, enhancing the Club’s ability to provide a round-the-clock claims service to all its Members, while also focusing on the needs of Britannia’s North American Members.

This development follows other recent steps taken by the Club, including the opening of new offices in Denmark and Greece and the strengthening of its teams in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.

Welcoming the move, ANDREW CUTLER, Britannia’s CEO, said

“Following the expansion of our regional hubs, the New York office enables us to enhance Britannia’s service to Members wherever they are in the world”.

 

BW Group Upgrades Vessels to KVH HTS Network in New Five-year Contract

Agreement covers 102 total vessels utilizing KVH’s TracPhone® HTS systems

MIDDLETOWN, RI – January 9, 2020 – KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), announced today that BW Group, one of the world’s leading maritime groups in the tanker, gas, and offshore segments, has signed a new contract to continue KVH VSAT services for at least five years and is upgrading 102 vessels to utilize KVH’s mini-VSAT BroadbandSM HTS network for advanced satellite communications. BW Group first chose KVH in 2013 to provide satellite connectivity for a portion of its fleet and since that time has rolled out KVH VSAT systems on additional vessels. The vessel migration is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2020.

“Migrating our vessels to KVH’s advanced HTS network enables us to optimize our operational efficiency with fast, reliable connectivity from a trusted partner,” says BW’s procurement officer. “We originally chose KVH because of their commitment to excellence and the ease of working with a sole provider, and we continue to value that relationship.”

With more than 80 years’ experience in maritime energy transportation, BW operates a large fleet that includes product tankers, LPG and LNG carriers, and offshore floating production vessels.

“It is an honor for KVH to continue working with BW Group, a company whose commitment to quality vessels, operational efficiency, and crew welfare is well known throughout the maritime industry,” says Ken Loke, KVH’s vice president for Asia-Pacific. “It is particularly gratifying that based on the performance of our legacy network, BW is now migrating to our newest HTS network. We value the strong working relationship that has developed between our companies during the past years and look forward to the continuation of that relationship for years to come.”

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KVH and Kongsberg Digital Successfully Install First Integrated Maritime IoT System on Active Working Vessel

The vessel, owned and operated by Kongsberg, is using KVH WatchTM IoT Connectivity as a Service and the Kognifai Vessel Insight platform as part of an innovative maritime IoT bundled solution

MIDDLETOWN, RI – January 2, 2020 – KVH Industries, Inc. and Kongsberg Digital announce the successful installation of their first joint maritime IoT system on an active working vessel. The team installed a KVH Watch VSAT antenna for IoT connectivity and the Kognifai Vessel Insight platform on Simrad Echo, a Norwegian research vessel owned and operated by Kongsberg, which will continue normal operations during the pilot maritime IoT project. Together, KVH Watch and Kognifai Vessel Insight provide an integrated infrastructure for IoT connectivity and vessel-to-shore data.

Maritime IoT is a focus of great interest among ship owners, ship managers, and maritime equipment manufacturers who are seeking ways to improve vessel operations through real-time monitoring and data analysis. This bundled connectivity solution by two leaders in the commercial maritime market, KVH and Kongsberg Digital, is one of the first cases of an active working vessel using an integrated maritime IoT solution.

Simrad Echo will rely on Kognifai Vessel Insight to monitor main and auxiliary systems on the vessel and help ensure 100% availability. For example, the Kongsberg Mapping Cloud application will move high-resolution echo sounding data from vessel to shore in real time so that shore-based experts can provide analysis to optimize vessel operations.

“While Vessel Insight works as an infrastructure for accessing contextualized quality data from a vessel or fleet, KVH is providing an alternative for IoT connectivity that enables the transfer of data from ship to cloud,” says Vigleik Takle, Kongsberg Digital’s senior vice president of maritime digital solutions. “We are very happy to be able to offer this as a connectivity option to our users.”

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BRITANNIA P&I OPENS A BRANCH OFFICE IN COPENHAGEN

 

On 1 January 2020, Britannia P&I’s Exclusive Correspondent in Denmark (B Denmark P&I), will become a full branch office and be renamed TR(B) Denmark.

The new branch office will continue to be headed by Mr. Michael Boje-Larsen, a lawyer with considerable experience in maritime law, including P&I and FD&D cover. Michael is supported by Rishi Choudhury, an Associate Director of Britannia P&I, a FD&D specialist who has been working with the Club since 2006.  Further expansion of the team is planned for early 2020.

Denmark is an important market for Britannia P&I and accounts for approximately 16% of its entered tonnage. Having a full branch office in Copenhagen further enhances service delivery to its Members whilst enabling the Club to consider other business opportunities in the region.

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NEW HEAD FOR BRITANNIA’S GREEK OFFICE

Britannia P&I Club is delighted to announce that KONSTANTINOS SAMARITIS will be taking over as head of its office in Greece with effect from 1 January 2020.

Konstantinos is a qualified Greek lawyer and accredited mediator. He joined Britannia’s Managers, Tindall Riley, in 2018, having previously worked in both Standard and Skuld’s Greek operations for ten years. Konstantinos has also worked for a US listed shipowner and at a local law firm.

“This is exciting news” says Britannia CEO ANDREW CUTLER “and I am pleased that our team in Piraeus will be headed up by Konstantinos, who has studied and worked in Greece for his whole career.  The Greek market is very important to us and we believe that with Konstantinos at the helm we will continue to grow and develop relationships with our local Members”.

Konstantinos takes over from David Harley, who is leaving Britannia with the Club’s best wishes after twenty years’ service.

Konstantinos will continue to work with the local team, which includes Denise Dellow, Vasilios Kakamoukas and Penelope Foka together with the continued support from the claims and underwriting teams based in Britannia’s London office.

 

Korea P&I and Britannia P&I Collaborate

On 5 December 2019 The Britannia Steam Ship Insurance Association Limited (Britannia P&I) and The Korea Shipowners’ Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association (KPIA) established a new collaboration agreement, Korea-Britannia P&I Collaboration ‘KBC’.

This new facility, which is exclusively available to Korean shipowners and operators, will provide cover on a mutual basis excess of a primary USD500,000 layer insured by KP&I.

Britannia P&I, trusted since 1855, has 114m gt of mutual tonnage from over 240 members across 30 countries.  In August 2019, S&P re-confirmed Britannia P&I’s A (Stable) rating with financial strength above the AAA level and ‘exceptional’ liquidity.

KP&I is a P&I Club established subject to Korea’s Shipowners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Insurance Act 2000. Rated A- (Excellent) by A.M Best, KP&I has a membership of 22.6m gt and 253 members.

Shipowners with vessels entered in KBC will become members of both Britannia P&I and KP&I.  KP&I will market the facility and handle claims within their primary USD500,000 layer while Britannia P&I will assume responsibility for handling any larger or complex claims with a potential to exceed the primary layer. Britannia P&I will also issue all compulsory certificates thereby guaranteeing compliance international maritime conventions.

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Seagull & Videotel announce leadership appointments

Industry veteran Manish Singh joins leading maritime knowledge services group as CEO, with Roger Ringstad assuming role of Executive Chairman.

Acquired by Oakley Capital in May 2019, Seagull and Videotel collectively serve over 20,000 ships and marine installations globally, helping develop proficiencies for about a million seafarers across international maritime pools and tonnage types. Between them, these businesses have an unmatched pedigree and diverse experience in maritime learning, competence development and compliance over four decades.

Commenting on the appointments and the vision for the Group, Roger Ringstad said:

“Enhancing safety and efficiency at sea through knowledge and awareness, is at the heart of what we deliver. We want to enter into closer partnerships with our customers and users introducing state of the art technology and developing proficiencies, at sea and ashore.

We are delighted to welcome Manish Singh as CEO of Seagull and Videotel. His appointment adds to our maritime expertise, passion for safety and industry thought leadership. He will focus on developing closer relationships with our clients and will lead on our investments to further to enrich our content, transform our user experience and introduce further digitally enabled solutions.”

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FMT and Indian Register of Shipping sign MOU on strategic cooperation

Target Collaborative Development of Advanced Bulk Carrier Designs

Further Marine Technology Co. Ltd., (FMT) and Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) have signed a MOU on strategic cooperation. By combining the two companies’ knowledge and networks, FMT and IRClass are targeting development of the latest generation of bulk carrier designs to expand the business in the South East Asian market.

This development will take an outset in the successful 8,000 DWT Mini Bulk Carrier designed by FMT and classed by IRClass in 2018 – 2019 for an Indian steel and infrastructure giant. By combining the available development capability in FMT and IRClass, the two partners aim to create designs offering higher performance.

 

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INDIAN REGISTER OF SHIPPING AND SHIPPARTS.COM INK COOPERATION AGREEMENT TO PROMOTE INDIAN EQUIPMENT SUPPLIERS

The Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) and ShipParts.com have signed a cooperation agreement to develop mutually beneficial business opportunities across the Indian and international maritime industries.

Under the cooperation agreement, signed today in Pudong, Shanghai, during the Marintec 2019 trade show, IRClass will certify the Indian equipment suppliers and manufacturers that use the ShipParts.com e-procurement platform and provide third party verification of products transacted on the site.

ShipParts.com will establish an “IRClass Pavilion” on the platform to provide certified Indian suppliers with an established digital route to international maritime markets. It will also be authorised to introduce IRClass services to both China and international manufacturers looking to access the sub-continent’s maritime sector.

H V Ramesh, Sr. Principal Surveyor & Vice President, IRClass said: “The agreement we have signed today with one of the world’s leading maritime e-commerce platforms marks a new chapter of cooperation that is underpinned by our common business values and digital growth aspirations.”

The Indian maritime sector has strong growth potential and the government has taken several initiatives to boost the maritime industry.

Roy Yap, Chief Growth Officer (CGO), ShipParts.com, said: “India has long been an integral part of the international maritime industry, providing the sector with shipbuilding and repair capacity, quality equipment and services, and professional seafarers and maritime executives. Poised for growth, ShipParts.com is pleased to provide another digital channel for Indian manufacturers and service providers to the world stage with IRClass certification and verification.”

 

 

Thome Group Wins 2019 Environmental Award

The Thome Group is delighted to announce that it has won Tanker Shipping & Trade’s 2019 Environmental Award which was presented to Capt. Atul Vatsa, Thome Group’s VP of Compliance & Marine Safety and Sean Hutchings, COO of the Group’s Bulker Division, during a gala dinner held in London on 26th November.

The award recognised “the company, individual or institution that had found a solution to an environmental challenge or problem within the tanker industry.”

The adjudicating panel of industry experts were impressed with Thome’s implementation of a mobile based application called NAU that was designed to monitor the performance of its entire managed fleet. The app includes an ‘Environment’ module that covers daily monitoring of the accumulation and disposal of machinery space bilges and sludge on board across all managed vessels and alerts the vessel managers when there is excessive build-up beyond set benchmarks.

Commenting on the award win Mr Olav Nortun, Thome Group CEO, said:

“NAU compliments Thome’s zero tolerance policy to marine and environmental contamination and acts as the company’s automated whistle blower keeping the interests of the company, its ship owners and stake holders intact, acting as an early warning system to any potential risks which could lead to system failure, human errors, etc. I am so pleased that our environmental commitment has been recognised by the industry and would like to thank those people who voted for us.”

Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) opens office in the Netherlands and announces participation at Europort

To further strengthen its presence in Europe, leading Classification Society the Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) has opened an office in the Netherlands.

The office is located in Leiden and has been operational for a while, being managed by IRClass’ London office.

“Opening an office in the Netherlands is important for IRClass,” said Mr PK Mishra IRClass’ Vice President and Regional Manager for the EU, “especially as we have recently been working for some shipyards in the region. Having an office nearby is important to our clients as they know we will be able to respond quickly to their requirements.”

IRClass received recognition from the European Union in 2016 and in addition to the Netherlands, it has offices in the UK, Greece, and Turkey as well as representative offices in Malta, Cyprus and Bulgaria. It is also planning to open an office in Germany soon.

To capitalise on its growing business successes in Europe, IRClass will be exhibiting at Europort this year which takes place 5-8 November in Rotterdam.

With Europort’s strong emphasis on innovative technology and shipbuilding capabilities, IRClass considers this exhibition an ideal venue for it to showcase its classification services covering the maritime and offshore sectors.

The company will be situated in hall 8, stand number 8501.

KVH Introduces TracVision UHD7 for Ultra High-definition 4K TV Entertainment at Sea

Maritime innovator KVH adds newest 60 cm satellite antenna to award-winning line of TV products

MIDDLETOWN, RI – October 30, 2019 – KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), today introduced the TracVision® UHD7, a high-performance 60 cm (24 inch) marine satellite TV antenna designed to provide boat owners, charter yacht guests, and commercial vessel crews with access to ultra high-definition (UHD) and 4K programming from DIRECTV® as well as regular HD programming from other leading satellite TV providers. The system is on display at the Fort Lauderdale (FL) International Boat Show, October 30-November 3, in Booth 328.

Designed for ease of installation and use, TracVision UHD7 features two-cable installation, fast satellite acquisition speeds, and system control via the TracVision TV-Hub web interface or convenient TracVision app. For reliability in marine conditions, the antenna features multi-axis tracking and a rugged, lightweight design.

“The TracVision UHD7 builds on KVH’s 20-plus years of experience designing and delivering award-winning marine satellite TV products to bring boat owners the fantastic picture quality and favorite TV programming they want,” says Jim George, KVH’s senior director of global leisure sales. “The TracVision UHD7 is designed to make their time on the water even more enjoyable.”

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KVH Ships 10,000th VSAT System for Global Maritime Connectivity

Maritime VSAT market share leader’s unique value proposition provides a fully integrated communications solution for mariners

MIDDLETOWN, RI – October 24, 2019 – KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), a leader in mobile connectivity, announced today that it has shipped its 10,000th VSAT satellite communications system. This is the latest milestone for a company whose history of innovation in the maritime satellite communications industry began in 2007, when KVH introduced the TracPhone® V7, the first maritime 60 cm VSAT terminal, and the mini-VSAT Broadbandsm service. Since that time, KVH has become the market share leader for maritime VSAT terminals (Source: Euroconsult, Prospects for Maritime SATCOM, 2019, market share VSAT units), and today KVH provides high-speed connectivity, voice service, IoT capabilities, and content to commercial vessels and leisure yachts around the world.

 

“We set out to make satellite communications reliable, cost effective, and more accessible to seafarers through innovations in technology, satellite services, and business models,” says Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH chief executive officer. “The accelerating adoption of our TracPhone VSAT systems and connectivity delivered by our high-throughput satellite (HTS) network reflects the demand for the affordable airtime, fast data speeds, network security, IoT proactive monitoring, and value-added services that we deliver. The ability to offer a fully integrated solution, which we see as the KVH Advantage, is desirable both to leisure boaters who wish to remain connected to friends and family on shore as well as the commercial industry in which the connected ship is rapidly becoming a reality.”

 

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Britannia Announces its New Chairman

The Britannia Steam Ship Insurance Association Limited (Britannia) has announced that on 15 October, Nigel Palmer OBE retired as chairman of the Britannia Board and was succeeded by Tony Firmin.

Nigel started his career as a cadet with BP Tanker Co., where he rose to the rank of Master before taking on various corporate roles within BP prior to retiring in 2004. He then became a director on the Britannia Board before taking on the role of chairman in May 2008.

Tony joined Hapag-Lloyd in 1995, initially as Finance Director of Hapag-Lloyd America Inc., responsible for the USA, Canada and Latin America.  His career with the transnational container shipping line culminated with his election in July 2014 to its Executive Board, serving as Chief Operating Officer until his retirement on 30 June 2019. Tony has been Britannia’s deputy-chairman since October 2016.

Commenting on the announcement, Mr Palmer said: “It has been my immense pleasure to have helped steer the world’s oldest P&I club over the past decade, where we have faced numerous challenges within the maritime industry on behalf of our Members”.  Paying tribute to Mr Firmin, he added: “Tony brings his considerable maritime and financial experience that will help guide Britannia in the coming years as it continues its recent programme of regional expansion and tonnage growth whilst maintaining its financial strength.”

 

Thome Group Wins Excellence in Maritime Services/Ship Management

The Thome Group is delighted to announce that it has won the award for Excellence in Maritime Services/ Ship Management at the Lloyd’s List Asia Pacific Awards ceremony at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore.

Reviewed by an independent panel of judges, the award recognised that the Thome Group had “demonstrated best ongoing commitment to the industry and had raised the standards of ship management and support in the region.”

The judges carefully considered a range of performance indicators including crew welfare, overall safety record, environmental initiatives, ship security, training, operational efficiency, cost control and a proven record of client satisfaction.

Accepting the award on behalf of the Thome Group was the company’s CEO Mr Olav Nortun who commented;

“Winning this award is the icing on the cake for all the dedication and hard work of our employees around the world. It is a great endorsement of our crew welfare programmes, training courses, environmental initiatives and cost efficiency drives to make sure our services offer the best value for money for our clients without compromising on safety.  I would also like to sincerely thank our principals and close partners for their continued trust and close collaboration.”

He was also grateful for the hard work of the independent panel of judges and recognised the tough decisions they had to make in choosing the winners. He felt humbled in receiving the award among such a strong list of nominees.

 

Britannia returns more funds to Members and moves away from a General Increase

 

The Britannia Steam Ship Insurance Association Limited declares a USD15 million capital distribution to its mutual Members

 

Highlights

  • Britannia remains in robust financial health, allowing a further capital distribution of USD15 million to be paid to P&I mutual Members
  • Going forward, Members’ renewals will be underwritten on their individual records, with Britannia moving away from the concept of a General Increase (GI) for both P&I and FD&D

 Overview

In August 2019, S&P re-affirmed Britannia’s A (stable) rating with capital well above the AAA level and an ‘exceptional’ liquidity rating.

However, the 2018/19 policy year was challenging, with lower than projected investment returns and claims being higher than expected.  Claims continue to be high, in particular those in excess of USD1 million.  In addition, all insurers in the P&I sector have seen rates declining, with Britannia anticipating an underwriting deficit for the current policy year, with an expected combined ratio of 108%.

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KVH Announces KVH Elite, Unlimited VSAT Streaming Service for Yachts

Premium service features dedicated bandwidth to deliver unlimited HD-quality streaming onboard yachts

MIDDLETOWN, RI – October 9, 2019 – KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), announced today that it is introducing KVH Elite, a premium unlimited VSAT streaming service delivering HD-quality, dedicated bandwidth to yachts in selected geographic regions. The new KVH Elite streaming service is launching in November 2019 from Florida through the Caribbean, including the islands of the eastern Caribbean, with the Mediterranean expected to follow in 2020. This service, which is part of KVH’s fully global mini-VSAT BroadbandSM HTS network, is designed for maximum coverage, maximum data speeds, and a premier user experience for simultaneous streaming.

KVH Elite enables users onboard to use their favorite apps for streaming popular HD movie and TV content, music, and more, on an unlimited basis in that there are no overages or data limits. The streaming service uses KVH’s award-winning VSAT antenna systems—the 60 cm diameter TracPhone® V7-HTS and the 1 meter diameter TracPhone V11-HTS—and is designed for ease of use, with simple over-the-air activation that does not require any hardware changes to the antenna system or its belowdecks control unit. Yachts currently using the V7-HTS or V11-HTS are KVH Elite-ready for activation.

“The yachting market, particularly at the highest level, is seeing an incredible demand for VSAT connectivity,” says Mark Woodhead, KVH executive vice president for mobile connectivity. “When you are on a yacht, you expect to be able to stream movies and other entertainment content just like you do at home. Our new KVH Elite unlimited streaming service is one more example of how KVH’s premium VSAT connectivity can enhance the yachting experience.”

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Britannia P&I: Added Strength In Singapore

Britannia P&I’s Managers, Tindall Riley, adds four new colleagues to their Singapore team.

This expansion reinforces Britannia’s strategy of developing its regional hubs, bringing service closer to Members.  TR(B) Singapore was established in September 2018 (taking over from the former exclusive correspondent of almost 20 years) and Britannia’s Singapore branch licence was granted in February of this year.

FRANCIS CHURCH, having moved moving from the Managers’ London office, joins as a regional underwriter.

DAPHNE CHUA, a 4 years PQE Singapore lawyer, joined the team in July to support P&I and FD&D service.

JACOB DAAMGARD, a dual qualified deck and engine room mariner, has also moved from the Managers in London to lead Britannia’s regional Loss Prevention activities.

KATHERINE LEE, a compliance expert, joins as Compliance Officer for the Singapore branch.

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Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) strengthens South Asia presence with new office in Bangladesh

MUMBAI, 01 October 2019 – Leading classification society, the Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), recently celebrated the opening of its Bangladesh office with an inauguration event.

The event, held at Hotel Agrabad, was attended by members of the regional shipping fraternity including shipping companies, shipyards, ship recycling units, ship design companies, flag administration and various service suppliers. Representatives from the Indian High Commission were also present to grace the occasion. IRClass now has an office in Dhaka and representative office in Chittagong with both offices having qualified local surveyors to provide value added services to Bangladesh based clients.

In his opening address, Mr. Amit Bhatnagar, Senior Principal Surveyor & Vice President, IRClass, extolled the close relationship between classification societies and the industry. “IRClass will continue to work closely with the industry to help our clients develop practical and cost-effective solutions that meet their requirements”, said Mr. Bhatnagar. “We are excited to be a part of the vibrant maritime ecosystem in Bangladesh and we look forward to forging new relationships and renewing existing ones. We also look forward to working with ship recycling yards that have approached IRClass for certification under the Hong Kong Convention.”

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Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) opens office in Doha

Leading Classification Society the Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), has opened an office in Doha at the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC).

Commemorating the office opening, a function was held at the Sheraton Grand Doha Resort and Convention Hotel which was attended by a large number of senior delegates from Indian Embassy, Qatar Financial Centre, Ministry of Transport and Communications and various other ministries, port authorities, terminals, shipowners, ship managers, media, insurance and logistic companies. H.E. the Ambassador of India to Qatar Mr. P Kumaran graced the occasion by his presence.

The Middle East is one of IRClass’ most important strategic markets outside of India and the new branch office in Doha will help the class society extend its services to the marine, ports and terminals, industrial, oil and gas and offshore companies based in Qatar.

With 52 offices worldwide and recognised by 44 major flag administrations, including the state of Qatar, the Indian Register of Shipping is renowned for its quality of service and professional approach.

Speaking on the occasion, H.E. Ambassador of India Mr. P Kumaran, congratulated IRClass on setting up of an office in Doha and lauded the initiatives to serve the industry specially when India – Qatar trade was at an all-time high.

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