Construction work on BP Shipping’s new LNG fleet is on target, with the first launch completed at the end of September. So, attention has now turned to making sure that the crews are ready.
So, BP Shipping and BP Maritime Services (BPMS) have embarked on a comprehensive training programme to make sure that the ships have crews with the right capabilities to ensure safe and effective operations. Four of the new Delphi carriers will be inducted into the European fleet, where there’s already significant LNG expertise, thanks to the Gem and outgoing Trader classes, as well as the veteran Northwest Shearwater. But, the other two vessels will be inducted into the Indian fleet, where LNG transportation is a completely new discipline.
“Our challenge is to put together crews with the right skills and necessary experience,” says Kevin D’Souza, head of performance and development for BPMS. “For the European fleet, the approach taken for selection of officers is organic, as the skill set already exists there. The approach we’ve chosen for the Indian fleet, however, is to fill 50% of positions with officers from the Indian LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) fleet. They obviously have gas experience and are familiar with BP’s standards and requirements, but need specific LNG operational training. The other 50% will be external recruits, who have LNG skills but need the BP training.”
NO96 technology membrane containment system for the transportation and storage of LNG
A total of 14 external officers have already been recruited and 10 internal BP officers selected from the LPG fleet to start their Delphi training, which includes on-board practical experience in the European fleet. Recruitment for junior deck and engineer positions begins in December, again with a 50/50 internal/external split.
“This is obviously a significant investment when you factor in the total training costs and familiarization required for this project. But, it’s a price worth paying, because we need crews who can meet the high standards required by BP,” Kevin explains. “We’ve been extremely strict in our recruitment process as a result. Half of all applicants were rejected at CV stage because they didn’t have sufficient experience. Only one in five of those interviewed made it through to the BP panel stage and only half of those were eventually appointed.” Training in LPG is also now under way for oil tanker officers from the Indian fleet, in order to fill the positions vacated by those moving to LNG.
Liam Hyland and his wife Tréise who had the honour of pressing the button for the first steel cut of H2443.
Vessel class comparison
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