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NEW MARINE SCRUBBER TRAINING ACADEMY OPENS

Tuesday, May 5, 2020 

Exhaust gas cleaning equipment supplier Yara Marine has opened its Yara Marine Training Academy to provide training for engineers, deck officers and shore staff to achieve optimal scrubber performance.

The Norwegian company has delivered over 300 SOx scrubber systems to customers in all major shipping sectors, with millions of operating hours logged. The company states it only uses premium corrosion-resistant alloys in its scrubbers to ensure long life. Cheaper steel corrodes much faster and this is the philosophy it applies to training.

Training has traditionally been given by experts on site when a scrubber is installed. But the process has now been formalised in a modular package offered by newly created Yara Marine Training Academy. Successive modules cover system design and function, governing documents, operation, maintenance and troubleshooting.

Yara Marine technical trainer Ulf Johansson said: “Customers can operate and maintain the scrubber system in an optimised way when they have the right knowledge and skills. Training enhances not only our in-person relationship with customers, but also builds customer satisfaction in the long term.”

Training can take place at customer sites, at Yara Marine’s offices in Gothenburg, or online in a virtual classroom. Modules can be tailored by the training team according to requirements. Flexibility is key. “Our focus is on developing and offering different learning methods for different target groups in different situations,” said Johansson.

While Covid-19 travel restrictions remain in place, some customers are using online training to ensure best practice. “It makes good sense at the moment because crews will have to deal with any issues that arise themselves. It is difficult for our engineers to fly out to the ship,” said Yara Marine R&D engineer Pekka Pohjanen.

In his opinion, training should be seen as an investment that will pay off. Well-trained crew who understand the system and regulatory issues will increase the lifetime of the machinery, reduce opex, and, crucially, lower the risk of non-compliance.

Training during installation while a ship is in drydock typically involves 2nd engineers and 3rd engineers in a very busy environment. “They do their best to take everything in, but there are a lot of other things happening at the same time,” said Pohjanen. “Remembering everything the training covers in those circumstances is a big ask. The classroom setting is much better. We can walk participants through the material having their full attention. We also encourage chief engineers, chief mates and even masters to do the training, so they have first-hand awareness.”

This extensive approach to training is especially relevant if the commissioning crew leave the ship while the system is still relatively new, leaving a knowledge gap that needs to be filled. “Targeted training also lightens the burden on the crew,” said Pohjanen, “Environmental technology like scrubbers and ballast-water treatment means more work, but it is necessary as the industry moves to a greener base."

Full system functionality, sensor failure and equipment malfunctions are all covered. “Sometimes current crew can’t find the info they need in the manual. Basic training would solve that,” Pohjanen said.

Most unexpected problems are to do with compliance. “Crew often do not understand the regulatory background. It is not their job to know it in detail, but knowing the basics helps,” said Pohjanen. “We present the regulations for different regions in a simplified way that is much easier to understand than the original documents, which tend to be very technical.”

Troubleshooting in the classroom focuses on critical problems based on past cases. “Additional basic training is a win-win for all parties,” Pohjanen said. “One of our customers has trained 600 crew members. That kind of proactive approach means they get the best out of their system, the crew are confident on compliance, and the company will save money in the long run.”

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