ABS established an office in Greece in the 1950s, following the end of World War II and the restart of the Greek shipping industry. The industry began with mainly bulk carriers, but today the Greek fleet is diversified and modern including tankers, LNG andLPG carriers, as well as offshore units such as FSRUs. “The shipping industry of Greece is now one of the most advanced in the world and we believe in it,” said Vassilios Kroustallis, ABS Vice President, Europe. “The fact that our biggest office in Europe is located in Greece is proof of our commitment to the industry in this country.”
ABS recently established its Global Ship System Center in Greece, which houses specialists from all over the world in state-of-the-art facilities, for research and development on innovative ship systems. “The center mainly deals with the highly advanced systems onboard as well as satellites, big data analytics, network and communications. The capabilities of our team there are limitless,” said Kroustallis.
Our Global Ship System Center in Greece mainly deals with the highly advanced systems onboard as well as satellites, big data analytics, network and communications. The capabilities of our team there are limitless.Vassilios Kroustallis, ABS Vice President, Europe
ABS is continuously investing in Greece both financially and in manpower. They have set up the biggest engineering center in Athens, a center of nautical systems, a big survey department and a sustainability center – one of only two in Europe for ABS – to assist in developing solutions for the industry’s biggest challenge: decarbonization. “Shipping is in front of huge challenges with the main one being to meet the United Nations’ sustainability criteria and decarbonization of shipping. There are tough targets ahead as the technology is not readily available and financially viable yet,” explained Kroustallis. ABS is supporting owners and operators develop decarbonization pathways for their fleets, researching the potential for a range of alternative fuels including LNG, LPG, biofuels, methanol and ammonia.
Another challenge facing the industry is the digital revolution. “The technology has developed to such a degree that we are able to gather significant quantities of data from sensors on the ships. The problem here is what to do with this insight and how to use it properly to assist us with predicting future outcomes,” he highlighted. The Covid-19 pandemic, however, has accelerated digitalization and innovation in shipping.
The fact that ABS chose Greece to develop a center dedicated to tackling the industry’s most pressing issues is proof that their relationship with the maritime nation will only continue to grow. “The relationship is very tight and we are here to collaborate closely with Greek Shipping and develop systems, processes and technologies that will help not only our country’s fleet, but make a significant contribution to the development of the global industry as well,” concluded Kroustallis.