New 20K TEU COSCO Ship First to Earn Cyber Rating


A brand new 400-metre-long, 20,000 TEU containership, MV COSCO Shipping Aries, is the first to receive the third level of Lloyd’s Register's cyber-enabled ship (CES) descriptive note for its energy management system.

Lloyd’s Register (LR), a leading player in the safe adoption of digital technologies within the marine and offshore sector, is awaiting more CES descriptive notes for other COSCO newbuilds.

Nantong COSCOS KHI Ship Engineering, a joint venture between COSCO and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, built MV COSCO Shipping Aries in China.

Through recent advances in IT and Operational Technology (OT), ’Cyber-enabled systems’ are considered to be systems installed onboard ships that can be monitored, or monitored and controlled, either remotely or autonomously with or without a crew onboard the ship.

Accessibility Level (AL) 3 is defined by Lloyd’s Register (LR) as cyber access for autonomous monitoring and control, with onboard permission required and onboard override possible.

The revised version of LR's Cyber-enabled ships ShipRight procedure, issued in December 2017, gives an AL for autonomous access for the system.

This ranges from the information-only AL0 — no access, AL1 —  manual access, AL2 — cyber access for remote or autonomous monitoring, up to the highest AL5 — autonomous monitoring and control, with no onboard permission required or override possible.

The functionality provided by cyber-enabled systems can range from simple remote monitoring with a crew onboard through to a fully autonomous vessel without a crew onboard.

Consequently, the assessment of cyber-enabled systems needs an approach that finds the hazards introduced by cyber-enablement and mitigates the associated risks.

Read the new 'Port and Ship Cyber Security: After NotPetya' technical paper by Phil Tinsley and Aron Frank Sørensen from BIMCO to learn more about how the maritime industry has awoken to the potential impact of cybersecurity incidents on ship operators, ports and the industry as a whole

Shi Yongxin, COSCO Shipping Container Line Co, Safety & Technology Department, General Manager said: “MV COSCO Shipping Aries is the first 20,000 TEU level ultra-large containership built in Chinese shipyard owned by COSCO Shipping Container Lines.

“She is not only one of the largest container ships in the world, but also a ship with high cyber functions.

“We have always attached great importance to cyber-enabled fleet in order to enhance fleet management, reduce energy consumption and control emission.

“In the field of cyber-enabled ship, LR has great research findings and well established requirement.

“During the construction of the MV COSCO Shipping Aries, we are very fortunate to have the great support from LR and finally, successfully obtain the first AL3 level descriptive note for ultra-large containership in the world, this ensures our goal is successfully achieved.

“We hereby express our heart-felt gratitude and look forward to more cooperation between the two sides in the field of cyber-enabled ship.” 

In February 2016, LR issued the first guidance on cyber-enabled ships: ‘Deploying Information and Communications Technology in Shipping – Lloyd’s Register’s Approach to Assurance’.

This identified the elements that constitute a cyber-enabled ship and the activities that need to take place to ensure that cyber technology does not introduce a safety risk, effectively providing the industry with a route map to understanding the implications of digital technology.

This was followed with the introduction of the industry’s first ShipRight procedure, which details LR’s framework for accepting cyber technology.

This was recently revised using lessons learnt from live projects that are leading the progression in this field and where LR is in partnership with key clients such as Rolls-Royce, CSSC and Synergy Marine, as well as through lessons learnt by working with academic and industry partners such as QinetiQ, the University of Southampton and the National Oceanography Centre.

Nick Brown, LR Marine & Offshore Director, said: ”The request from COSCOS to apply LR’s descriptive note was made relatively late in the project, which represented quite a challenge for LR, NACKS and COSCOS to complete this prior to delivery, especially with the system being AL3.

“However, with support from LR’s global network of experts, we were able to ensure that the system could be certified in time for delivery and we are delighted to have been able to work on this innovative project.”

Read more: Major maritime organisations including BP Shipping, Maersk Line and Emarat Maritime are taking steps to combat containership system errors and cyber-attacks by developing a standard that would ensure software updates take place correctly

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