At a June meeting at IMO’s London headquarters, the Committee considered a paper and supporting evidence from the Russian delegation evaluating tank containers with Fibre Reinforced Plastics (FRP) shells rather than traditional, all-steel shells. The innovative solution aims at improving international tank container safety, while the Russian Federation paper argued that using FRP in the manufacture of tanker containers would have other benefits, including increased service life. Russia is taking a leading role in the development and testing of this technology. After full scale certification tests involving the classification society, RS, the first FRP type tank containers are now undergoing trial operations, reportedly with a high degree of success.
The strong ties between the London IMO Secretariat and the Russian Federation have been further emphasised by the announcement that Lawrence D. Barchue Sr., Assistant Secretary General at IMO, will give an opening address at NEVA 2017 in St Petersburg. Mr Mikhail Gappoev, Technical Officer, Subdivision for Marine Technology and Cargoes, Maritime Safety Division at IMO will join the Arctic Round Table and Fishery Fleet sessions of the NEVA Programme.
IMO has participated regularly at the NEVA Conference with a view to providing attendees with the latest information on regulatory standards affecting the safety of international shipping, fishing and offshore operations and the protection of the marine environment.
In a separate development, Vitaly Klyuyev, Director of the Transport Ministry's Department of State Policy for Maritime and River Transport has announced that IMO Secretary General Kitak Lim also plans to visit Russia in September 2017. He said Mr Lim would meet Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation Maxim Sokolov in Moscow before travelling to a Tokyo MoU Committee and business conference in Vladivostok.