ABS, provider of classification services to the global offshore industry, convened industry partners at the Offshore Technology Conference on Wednesday, May 4, to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) establishing a unified joint industry project (JIP) for standardisation. The goal of the JIP, which includes participants from Korean shipyards, operators, drilling contractors, engineering companies and classification societies, is to develop offshore design standards that will help to improve safety and increase efficiency for offshore projects.
While smaller JIPs have formed to address standardisation issues, the number of companies participating in this partnership constitutes an industry “first,” bringing together leaders from a broad range of companies with the common goal of improving consistency and reducing construction inefficiencies.
ABS COO Tony Nassif praised participants for their willingness to join this milestone JIP, stepping out of their comfort zone to enter into this unique collaborative effort. “The MOU we are signing today is a confirmation that we are in agreement that standardisation has the potential to bring significant value to the industry and that we want to be part of the solution” he says. “I congratulate you on your foresight and am excited about the prospect of working with you to map the way forward for standardisation in the offshore industry.”
Robert Patterson, Executive Vice President, Engineering, Shell Projects & Technology, sees the formation of this JIP as an important move toward closer collaboration that will move the initiative forward at a more rapid rate. “This is the critical first step, and it will take some real ‘stickiness’ from all of us to go from signing to delivery,” he says. “I want to congratulate you for having the vision, the courage, the boldness and the willingness to change because that is what will make this a success.”
Kil-Seon Choi, Chairman and CEO of Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), also is enthusiastic about the potential impact of this JIP. “This effort will be indispensable in serving the oil and gas industry. Not only will it address cost and time savings, it will help to secure quality, reliability and safety,” he says. “This is a humble start today and will result in significant innovation in the future.”
ABS initiated its first standardisation JIP in 2015 with the three leading Korean shipyards – HHI, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) – and oil and gas and engineering companies to establish new global design standardisation procedures based on relevant industry standards, international regulations and class requirements across the offshore industry. The unified offshore standardisation JIP, which includes these participants among a much broader group, marks the beginning of the second phase of this project. It is aimed at developing criteria to help shipbuilders and designers improve design and construction efficiencies.
“ABS looks forward to working with the JIP participants,” says Dr. Hoseong Lee, ABS Vice President of Special Projects, Corporate Technology, who is leading the JIP effort. “By convening experts from across the industry, we will be in a position to help improve and streamline the construction of complex offshore structures.”