Will We Have Enough Trained Marine Engineers for the Alternative Fuels Future?

by Julian Macqueen, Senior Editor, Ship & Bunker
Friday May 10, 2024

The shipping industry risks having a deficit of marine engineers trained in alternative fuels as it embarks upon its energy transition, according to maritime training expert Nigel Draffin.

Draffin raised the issue in his presentation to Portuguese energy company Galp's Atlantic Meeting in Lisbon on Thursday. 

Of an estimated 150,000 global shortfall in marine officers by 2025, half will be marine engineers, he said.

Current engineers and those coming up will need to be trained in the handling and understanding of the new alternative marine fuels.

The range of topics to be covered is wide, Draffin said. 

Methanol is mildly toxic; ammonia significantly so. Bio-diesel has storage issues.

'It's a problem and it's going to get bigger if it's not addressed,' Draffin told Ship & Bunker on the sidelines of the meeting.

Draffin said he would like to see regulators agreeing a common syllabus for each training module required to ensure the same standards for all authorities.