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Long Green for Long-Lived Greens

DLS Marine surveyors and appraisers have always been current with what has been going on in the marine industry. As members of the National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS) and the American Society of Appraisers (ASA), it is necessary for all of us to learn and amass continuing education hours in order to renew our certifications.

As a member of both NAMS and SAMS, I too have to stay current. But I have also taken over the job as Lookout. What matters in our industry is not just what is happening now, but what will be happening in the marine industry in the future.

Those who have read my earlier offerings have noted my coverage of alternative fuels that are in use or will be in use in order to comply with IMO and individual country’s regulations on diesel engine exhaust emissions. While controlling emissions is and will continue to be a very significant factor in ship design, it will not be the only factor that owners and shipyards will be concerned about.

The last splurge in shipbuilding was 2008-2012 which puts the need for replacement tonnage in 2023-2035. For the oldest of these ships, owners, naval architects, suppliers, and shipyards need to know now what they want these future assets to look like. That is, what will go into the ships now to make them, or help make them compliant not only with the current IMO standards but with the individual standards that various countries like China, Singapore, the United States and the Euro Bloc are bringing into force.

I will be looking into some of these choices in future commentaries, but for now we’ll take a look at where some of the funding might be found.

An old slang term for money is long green. National and international regulations are forcing the marine industry to invest in green ships – assets that can have a useful life of 20-to-40-years. Money will be needed to fund these long-lived green ships. Long green for long lived green ships.

There is some help and incentive through international governments, NGO’s and lenders.

The first major “green” step, spurred by various international bodies, was the creation by lenders of the Equator Principles. This is a set of standards for due diligence in supporting lending on projects with environmental and social benefits, particularly in emerging markets. The principles were developed in 2003 with the first lender signing on in 2004. In 2019, there were 94 involved financial institutions from 37 countries. Those in the United States are Bank of America, Citi Group, The Export/Import Bank, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo.

While the Equator Principles are not directly involved with shipping they can be involved with pipelines, port facilities, and plants that are connected with water transportation.

With the advent of IMO 2020 and IMO 2050, lenders realized that they needed to work with owners and other interested parties to make it possible for shipping to move towards those emission reduction goals. The result is the Poseidon Principles.

These principles pertain to loans, mortgages, leases, etc., on vessel of 5000 or more Gross Tonnes that are in international trade. These are the vessels that fall under the IMO 2020/2050 regulations.

The system is complicated, but its basis is that the carbon intensity and climate alignment in a lender’s shipping portfolio will be measured annually. The metric is carbon intensity, which is the total operational emissions generated per a unit of transport work, i.e., grams of CO2 per tonne-nautical mile. This is derived by collecting information on the metric tonnes of each type of fuel used, the distance traveled, hours underway and the deadweight tonnage and technical characteristics of the specific vessel.

It was proposed that measurements could be done with one of two systems, both based on information that has to be collected for the IMO by owners. The first was through Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator (EEOI). This includes the items mentioned above (fuel used/distance/etc.) plus the amount of cargo carried on each voyage. The second was the Annual Efficiency Ratio (AER) which is like the EEOI but only considers the vessels deadweight capacity and not actual cargo carried per voyage. AER was chosen. While not as accurate as EEOI it was the less burdensome of the two systems.

The point of the Principles is for them to act as a framework to integrate climate considerations into lending decisions in order to promote international shipping de-carbonization.

Signing on to the Principles is obviously good PR. But an incentive is that lenders do not like to make short term decisions on long lived assets and end up with a “stranded asset”. By putting up funds for an ecologically sound ship and/or one that can be maintained or augmented to stay green all through its economic life of 15-to-25-years, depending on the type/service of the vessel, the lender is protecting their collateral. And it is not a situation where a lender has to just make “green” loans. The program is set up like the idea of carbon offsets in that a lender can lend to a good customer for an asset of any design as long as there are more monies put into eco designs as an offset.

As of now there are 18 banks involved representing around $120 billion USD in shipping finance. They are all Euro banks with the exception of Citi Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

As a great deal of ship financing is now based in China it would be important to get more Asian banks involved.

The US Jones Act fleet is small and much of the tonnage does not fall under IMO rules, but environmental regulations will continue to grow in the United States. It is inevitable. U.S. based lenders will have to make the same kind of decisions about long lived green assets. As environmental rules continue to change domestic vessels that cannot comply risk loss of residual value through economic and technological obsolescence.

Things looked great in 2019. There was future demand. Then came COVID-19 and the portfolios of banks worldwide suffered, although probably more from land-based lending than marine. This has greatly affected bank’s ability to make loans. And there is no question that sectors like cruising and containers have been heavily affected in marine lending.

Banks without spare funds to lend may not be greatly interested in long term greening when current red ink has their attention. But some of the greening technology, such as high efficiency engines and better automation may also make for better profits for the owners which can make sense and cents for lenders. There is also the point that ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) investment can be a plus for a publicly traded corporations stock value.

There will be recovery, but it may be that new green construction will be riding on state subsidies particularly in the areas of Europe, Asia and South America where short-sea shipping, which works well with alternative fuels, takes traffic off of highways. This can also be done in the United States with the growth of the American Marine Highway system.

Other funding for the new generation of ships will be Equity partners (and their high rates), and long-term charters backed by shippers whose interest includes both definitions of green.

Due Diligence

One of the concerns in the marine industry be it S&P, class surveys, or damage and repair surveys is being able to carry out due diligence. DLS Marine has been able to maintain full staffing in both the office and in the field. Through the months of April, May and June our surveyors have piled up over 55,000 road miles. And, as necessary and when practical, air miles too. We were ready to undertake an appraisal project in Scotland and Scandinavia, but national COVID-19 regulations would not allow us to enter the countries involved.

In a previous offering I gave my opinion that there would be a V financial recovery. Having seen that actions and reactions of governments throughout the world and the economic effects, I am no longer that optimistic and believe a U shape recovery is much more likely.

Norman Laskay
nlaskay@DLSmarine.com

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Matt McDaniel DLS Marine Survey and Appraisal

Matt McDaniel

Hull & Machinery Surveyor

Areas of Expertise:

  • Hull and Machinery
  • Damage Assessment and Repairs
  • Condition
  • Inspections
  • Project Management

Memberships / Professional Certification:

  • NAMS-CMS

Background:

Matt began marine surveying in 2014 and has experience with damage causation, reviewing transit plans, new construction, cargo transfers, salvage operations, on/off charters, and general condition surveys. He joined the Hull & Machinery department at DLS in 2019.

mmcdaniel@dlsmarine.com
Jessie Page DLS Marine Survey and Appraisal

Jessie Page

Hull & Machinery Surveyor

Areas of Expertise:

  • Hull and Machinery
  • Diesel Technician
  • Marine Repair and Fabrication
  • Engine Causation Analysis
  • Equipment Damage
  • Vessel Conditions and Safety

Professional Certifications:

  • NAMS-CMS

Certified Specialist in Caterpillar diesel engines to include:

  • Small Engine Fuel Systems
  • Medium Engine Fuel Systems
  • Engine Diagnostics
  • Electronic Sensors and Control Logics
  • Electric and Electronic Troubleshooting
  • 3500 A/B/C Diesel Engine Master Mechanic I MUI/MEUI

Background:

Jessie joined DLS in 2021 with extensive experience in the marine industry. Jessie began his career as a shipfitter, machinist, and propulsion machinery installer at a shipyard. He then spent ten years as a diesel technician doing everything from routine mechanical repairs to complete engine overhauls and dynamometer testing. Jessie specializes in engine failure analysis and recognizing improper maintenance and installation. He is able to make recommendations regarding failure causation and potential imminent failures. Jessie transitioned to marine surveying in 2016 and is now a part of the DLS Hull & Machinery department.

jpage@dlsmarine.com

Ave P. Boudreaux

Marine Surveyor

Areas of Expertise:

  • Hull and Machinery
  • Project Management Supervisor (QC) – overseen numerous construction and delivery schedules for vessels
  • Extensive knowledge of U.S. Coast Guard and ABS rules and regulations for vessel construction and repair

Education:

  • Rolls-Royce Z-Drive Failure Analysis Seminar
  • Flex-Core and Aluminum Welding Course
  • Extensive training in engine, gear, and shaft alignment
  • Extensive training in vessel repair and new construction

Memberships / Professional Certification:

  • NAMS-CMS

Background:

Mr. Boudreaux has 15 years experience with offshore supply vessels, crewboats, and anchor handling tugs. During this time, he served 8 years in vessel repair and new construction, 3 years in vessel operation and logistics, and 4 years as a vessel port captain.

Mr. Boudreaux served over 3 years as a marine surveyor performing numerous types of surveys in the marine industry prior to joining DLS.

 aboudreaux@dlsmarine.com

Norm Laskay - DLS Marine Valuation

Norman F. Laskay

Of Counsel

Mr. Laskay joined Stickney, Dufour & Associates, Inc. in 1988 as a partner. He is now of Counsel. He became a Marine Surveyor in 1974, having gained prior experience in steamship agency, bulk cargo handling and vessel operations. He has been involved in many aspects of marine surveying including hull, machinery and cargo, both inland and ocean. Since becoming an Accredited Senior Appraiser of commercial marine equipment, he has been active with the American Society of Appraisers’ International Machinery and Technical Specialties Committee. He has written a comprehensive exam for the Commercial Marine Appraisal specialty and has written a 30-hour course for the American Society of Appraisers on appraising commercial marine vessels and yachts and is the lead instructor.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Commercial Marine Appraisal
  • Hull Damage and Repair
  • Cargo Loading, Securing and Trip in Tow Preparation

Education:

  • Maine Maritime Academy Graduate
    B.S. in Marine Transportation
  • Continuing education credits in Law, Appraisal, Marine Survey, and Diesel Repair.

Professional Certification/Memberships:

  • NAMS Regional Board of Directors Member 1989-1994
  • American Society of Appraisers – Chapter Treasurer 1991-1994
  • American Society of Appraisers – Chapter President 1994-1995
  • Mark Twain Club (Charter Member)
  • Machinery and Technical Specialties International Committee 1995-Present

Publications

  • The Journal of the International Machinery & Technical Specialties Committee of the American Society of Appraisers “TUGBOAT DESIGN 101” Vol 13 No. 2 Fall 1996
  • The Journal of the International Machinery & Technical Specialties Committee of the American Society of Appraisers “KEEPING AN EYE ON YOUR MARINE ASSET” Vol 13 No. 3 Winter 1996
  • Marine Money, The Ship Finance Publication of Record “ASSET BASED APPRAISAL:, Vol. 21, No. 3, May/June 2006 Wrote the chapter on Marine Asset Appraisal for the American Society of Appraisers text book: “VALUING MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT: THE FUNDAMENTALS OF APPRAISING MACHINERY AND TECHNICAL ASSETS” Second Edition. In 2008, revised the chapter for the future Third Edition and wrote an accompanying Work Book section.

Email: nlaskay@dlsmarine.com

  

Harry Ward President DLS Marine

Harry Ward

President

Harry Ward is the President of Dufour, Laskay & Strouse, Inc. Harry is a US Navy veteran and has spent much of the past decade in the maritime industry in sales, finance and general management. He has extensive experience in asset and business valuation and is working to maintain DLS leadership in marine appraisal and survey for another 50 years. Harry is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and served as a helicopter pilot and survival instructor through multiple tours of duty. He has an MBA from San Diego State University.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Fleet and Vessel Appraisals
  • Marine Business Valuation
  • Transaction Support – Due Diligence
  • Transaction Support – Marine M&A Advisory
  • Digital Inspection – Marine and Offshore Wind

Education:

  • U. S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD – 1991, Bachelor of Science
  • San Diego State University, San Diego, CA – 1999, MBA with emphasis in Finance

Licenses and Professional Associations

  • FINRA Licenses, Series 63 and 79 (Investment Banking)
  • American Society of Appraisers, AM
  • Certified Exit Planning Advisor, CEPA (Business value assessment and strategy development
hward@dlsmarine.com