Page 19: of Marine News Magazine (October 2015)

Salvage & Spill Response

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ulations are the most prescriptive and stringent of their kind among all stakeholders including the U.S. Coast Guard. in the world and while only applicable in the United States, The ASA is in a unique position to expand its horizons and the regulations have reaching international implications. provide guidance and insight on these processes in other

Preparation for implementation of the regulations de- countries with developing salvage response models. For manded signi? cant investments by core providers in per- example, recent activities of the ASA have included joint sonnel and equipment and the recurring maintenance training sessions with the Panama Canal Authority and the costs for the required response posture are substantial. Ad- Canadian Coast Guard. The American Salvage Associa- ditionally, the stakes are raised for primary providers from tion stands ready to share their guidance and insight on an a responsibility standpoint; the core providers have a con- international level. The simplest way to access that knowl- tractual obligation to respond to clients’ emergencies. edge is as an active member of the ASA.

Interestingly, the implementation of the SMFF regula-

Todd Schauer is Director of tions attracted global salvage players to the U.S. market that

Operations, Resolve Marine previously had little to no presence. Given the signi? cant

Group and President of the investments made and the increased level of commitment,

American Salvage Association. many believed that there would be substantial returns in the

He graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a form of annual retainer fees charged to vessel owners. Ironi- degree in Naval Architecture. His experience in the Coast cally, the pressure to sign up SMFF clients along with the

Guard included shipboard engineering, marine safety, additional players in the game resulted in a price war that advanced engineering and emergency response. He served virtually eliminated the retainer fees. The salvors are cur- for 5 years on the USCG Salvage Emergency Response rently subsidizing the U.S. response posture! Ship owners

Team (SERT) including acting as Team Leader.

and taxpayers should be pleased by the unexpected result.

The US response market is clearly important to the world market and service providers recognize this. The emerging trend is for vessel owners and operators to contract with response partners on a global basis, very much like the U.S.

SMFF model with designated responders and pre-arranged contracts. In order to have competitive access to this emerg- ing global market, a provider must be active in the U.S. market where most major shipping companies operate.

Market pressures have prompted both consolidation and diversi? cation among the salvors. Svitzer Salvage and Titan

Salvage have merged to form Ardent. Alaska-based Magone

Marine has merged with Resolve Marine Group. Most suc- cessful salvage companies have diversi? ed or have integrated with larger groups that offer other services including tow- age, spill response, training, diving, dredging, or marine construction. These trends are expected to continue as com- panies strive to achieve sustainable business models while maintaining increasingly expensive response capabilities.

Despite the market pressures, there are bright spots. As the bar for U.S. response capability has been raised, many core providers have leveraged this increased capability and pro? le to achieve direct success internationally. For example, Amer- ican salvors are routinely securing contracts for the largest salvage and wreck removal contracts around the world.

The American Salvage Association (ASA) remains a common voice for the American salvage industry. The

ASA has gained tremendous insight throughout the entire development and implementation process of the SMFF regulations, and has also earned credibility and respect MN 19

MN Oct15 Layout 18-31.indd 19 9/21/2015 11:08:22 AM

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