«One Day LPG/Carrier Introduction Course» was held in the National University «Odessa Maritime Academy» on 14 June 2018. The event for cadets and active seafarers was held by representatives of the Greek company NAFTOMAR Shipping & Trading Co Ltd. The participants were introduced in detail to the peculiarities of work on LPG ships, told about the history of gas carriers, the classification of cargo types, the carrying out of loading and unloading operations, as well as safety measures on vessels of this type.
The delegation included the Operations and Crew Manager of NAFTOMAR Ghamraoui Jad and Deputy Crewing Manager Karafotia Mara. Captain Jad explained the specifics of the vessels very intelligibly; his speech was prepared in relation to the target audience, and all present were listening to the details and nuances of the report with great interest. Captain Jad emphasized that gas carriers today are the elite of the fleet, the most complex and interesting ships to work on. To become a member of the crew of such a vessel, you need intimate knowledge. It is extremely important for future seafarers to accumulate necessary amount of knowledge from the first years of studying. That is why NAFTOMAR management decided to hold such a course in Odessa, in the walls of «OMA»- alma mater of many professionals of LPG-ships.
Despite the intense program, Captain Jad was able to answer several questions of the «The Professional seafarer».
The Professional seafarer: Tell us about the purpose of your visit to Ukraine, please.
Captain Jad: We traditionally cooperate with Ukraine, and this partnership has already turned 25 years old.This time my main goal is to launch the process of preparation and further selection of cadets and junior officers on our ships. Our fleet has more than 25 vessels, and we are interested in qualified personnel. If other companies pay cadets on average $ 500 per month, we can offer them $ 1200. Since the beginning of this year, we have already recruited 25 cadets of various specialties such as deck, engine and electrical cadets.
The Professional seafarer: How many Ukrainian seafarers work on your ships?
Captain Jad: About 80% of the crew members of NAFTOMAR vessels are Ukrainian citizens. There are crews where ordinary positions are occupied by Filipinos, and the officers are Ukrainians. There are also fully Ukrainian crews.
The Professional seafarer: Nowadays in Ukraine people often talk about abandoned sailors abroad, cases of non-payment of salaries and poor working conditions. Who is responsible for the labor conditions for seamen in your company?
Captain Jad: I am responsible for these questions as a crewing manager and manager of MLC. And I can give you a 100% guarantee that NAFTOMAR strictly adheres to the level estimated by the market as A +. All seafarers working on our ships receive wages on time, and this is the advantage of our company. I have been working in NAFTOMAR for 24 years, and during this time I do not remember a single complaint about non-payment of salaries.
The Professional seafarer: What would you advice seafarers who want to work on the ships of your company?
Captain Jad: Working on LPG-ships is a competent decision. These are ships of the future, this is the highest level in the classification of ships. With this in mind, I recommend that sailors come to work for us. The company is quite serious, stable and has its own traditions. And it is very important for a seafarer to start a career in a serious company. Having strong knowledge base obtained over five years of study at the Academy, the sailor will have a 100% impact not only in material terms, but also with regard to involvement in general business processes.
The Professional seafarer: Could you share the company’s future plans?
Captain Jad: Of course! Our plans are to expand. Over the last ten years, we have taken 11 new buildings and will build four or five new ships in the next three years. We are reliable and safe company, and we do not invest in buying ships for no reason. Our company has just updated the fleet with four vessels of the VLGC class, and we are ready to buy even more ships in the future, focusing on market demands.
Since the beginning of the massive natural gas production on the sea shelves, the most important question for the industry representatives has been: how to deliver gas from the extraction sites to consumers that are hundreds and thousands of miles away? That is why the gas-to-liquid technology and its subsequent transportation by gas-carrier ships was very quickly developed and introduced. Since the launch of the first such vessel, the design, construction, equipment and refitting of gas carriers has formed into a separate industry. Today in the world there are many companies, specializing in the transportation of liquefied natural gas. NAFTOMAR is one of the leaders in this segment.
Two years ago the company headquartered in Athens celebrated its 40th anniversary. «These forty years are not just a term, it is a period of constant and successful development,”underscores one of the guests of the seminar, the captain of sea-going ships Vladimir Tatyanchenko who has been working in NAFTOMAR since 1992.“Over the past seven years,seven new vessels were built for the company against the backdrop of complex economic circumstances in the shipbuilding and shipping industry. This again underscores the stability of NAFTOMAR’s position in the international shipping market.” Organization of work on ships,supply and good salaries are just some advantages of the company, from the point of view of seafarers.Surely NAFTOMAR pays close attention to safety issues of caro and people on board ships. All these aspects were analyzed in a simple and easy-to-understand manner during the course, which allowed future seafarers to receive comprehensive replies to questions related to the operation of LPG ships.