DNV GL business director tankers Catrine Vestereng has a wide remit, from business development to running newbuilding projects with owners
Catrine Vestereng is the global business director of tankers at DNV GL, responsible for business development through contact with shipyards, shipowners and operators, and service development through liaising with the clients’ customers, typically charterers and traders.
With such a wide remit, Ms Vestereng spends most of her time in the field.
Last year saw her working intensively with owners looking for newbuildings and running projects with them and the shipyards, to ensure the vessels they were ordering were future proof (meaning that the vessels would comply with upcoming regulations), fit for purpose (capable of carrying the required cargo to the required locations) and cost effective (offering flawless operation with minimum opex and downtime).
Ms Vestereng provided resources to look at fuel options, hybridisation, reducing ballast, increasing cargo capacity, effective cleaning and centralised operations, among others.
She says 2018 was a fantastic year in terms of newbuilding contracts of tankers to DNV GL.
In addition to working with newbuildings, Ms Vestereng co-operated with shipowners on several projects looking at safe, compliant and cost-effective operations.
High on the agenda were ballast water management systems and fuel/scrubber options ahead of IMO 2020. DNV GL is looking beyond 2020 and Ms Vestereng is running several projects focusing on the upcoming CO2 reduction challenge.
In addition to the more “technical stuff,” Ms Vestereng has been working with customers to establish digital ecosystems and digital solutions to bring added value.
Examples are electronic certificates, smart survey booking, the customer portal (My DNV GL), DATE (direct access to technical experts) support, remote surveys and inspection surveys by drone.
Additional initiatives include running projects on cyber security and the connection to TMSA3 and supporting owners with the new mooring equipment guidelines, MEG4. DNV GL has a flat structure: there are no bosses or roles built on status.
Tasks are assigned on the basis of ability, and leaders are expected to create a willingness among others to join the project and collaborate across teams.
“It is engaging in smart work,” she said, adding “it is important to have a laugh, too.” For inspiration in the tanker segment, Ms Vestereng cites Paddy Rodgers as a visionary who is outspoken and not afraid to be difficult.
As a Norwegian, she also looks toward Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose return from Molde in Norway to Manchester United football club as manager has seen a run of undefeated games with previously sulky players appearing to be enjoying football again. He is inspirational in that “he puts the team ahead of himself,” she said.
Ms Vestereng’s downtime is also typically Norwegian. This interview took place during the ski holiday season in Norway, where she was out cross-country skiing at the family cabin. In the summer, she spends time on the coast boating and catching Norwegian crabs, a highly prized delicacy.
Ms Vestereng is also a presence at the Tanker Shipping & Trade Conference, Awards and Exhibition, which she opened in 2018. DNV GL was chosen by the awards panel as Technical Innovation Award winner in 2018, and was the sponsor of the Tanker Operator of the Year Award, which she presented to Euronav.