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Thursday, August 27, 2020 

Three months after launch, Project Hygiea, a four-step Covid-19 passenger vessel response plan from Finnish ship design and engineering specialist Foreship, has been deployed on an undisclosed cruise ship in support of its return to market following its verification by classification society Bureau Veritas (BV) as in line with its comprehensive risk assessment strategy.

Foreship Business Development Manager Mattias Jörgensen (pictured) said: “We launched Project Hygiea as a way of getting the cruise industry back on its feet, so to have our first success story just three months on brings us a great deal of satisfaction. Although we were always confident that the approach would meet surveyor requirements, having it verified by BV and seeing the first project through to completion will ensure that the high rate of enquiries continues.”

Project Hygiea aims to limit the presence, spread and potential impact of coronavirus and other pathogens on ships by way of four primary measures: interception, prevention, mitigation and evacuation. Once solutions have been identified to enable implementation on board and in port, engineering work begins. This is followed by installation, commissioning and finally, verification. The verification process included Hazard and Operability Studies (HAZOP) based on IEC International Standard 61882.

Andreas Ullrich, Global Market Leader of Passenger Ships and Ferries, said: “Bureau Veritas has a thorough risk assessment process based on stringent criteria. In these unprecedented times, our high standards are perhaps more important than ever in helping clients and stakeholders reduce risk and increase safety margins. We are pleased to report that Foreship’s Project Hygiea has fulfilled our requirements from a classification certification perspective to be able to provide a highly effective and important service to the cruise sector.”

Project Hygiea fulfils latest IMO advice on restarting of cruise ship operations, which draws on guidance offered jointly by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Targeting EU/EEA flagged ships and any ships calling at EU/EEA ports, IMO Circular 4204/Add 26 offers minimum safety and sanitation protocols to protect passengers and crew from future outbreaks. It recommends tailor-made Covid-19 management plans based on comprehensive risk assessments of shipboard operations and third-party verification of any resulting modifications and changes to procedures.

Jörgensen adds that this is only the start for Project Hygiea, explaining that since the initiative was announced in May, it has garnered significant interest from cruise and ferry operators worldwide. Foreship is also collaborating with other classification societies on various vessel projects, he says, and with their input, Hygiea will continue to evolve and support the sector in resuming services and rebuilding public trust.

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