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LNG sector offers incentives to seafarers

LNG Industry,

The LNG sector is offering incentives to experience LNG seafaring officers to come on shore and manage their ships, according to recruitment agency Faststream.

This move comes as the shipping industry looks for personnel to manage its growing fleet of LNG carriers, while having to compete for staff with the increasing floating LNG (FLNG) sector.

Gastech 2014

Speaking at Gastech 2014, Faststream managing director Mark Charman, said that 127 new LNG vessels were currently under order. Each of these vessels needs officers, ratings and experienced shore-based technical superintendents. Combined, these vessels will need an estimated 2000 officers to serve on them.

However, whilst one off payments or incentives will help some companies attract experienced staff to manage LNG vessels, Faststream believes that the LNG sector needs to change its recruitment strategies if it is to attract sufficient personnel to crew its ships and manage them ashore.

Salary vs. opportunities

Charman commented: “Companies need to think about their value proposition to candidates. What is it that your company is offering – is it a short-term post with a high salary, or a longer-term package with further opportunities? Seafarers should not be treated as just short-term hires, but need to see how they fit within the wider company.

“Companies need to realise just how in demand LNG experienced engineers are and offer them realistic shoreside packages. They have tax free options at sea, newbuild and project offers open to them. What is going to motivate them to come ashore?”

Experienced LNG seafarers

“Shipping recruiters should be aware that LNG experienced seafarers are already being courted by the upcoming FLNG sector which offers higher pay and short rotations. The increasing interest in LNG as an alternative marine fuel for vessels is also just going to make recruitment even tougher in the years to come,” Charman concluded.

The LNG sector is attempting to fill the gap by looking to other areas of the shipping industry for personnel. Increasing numbers of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) seafarers are transferring to LNG vessels, while electrical officers are coming from other vessel types and even from outside the maritime sector. Faststream has even seen cruise ship engineers with experience in dual-fuel engine operation finding positions on LNG vessels.

Average salaries

According to Faststream data, the average salary for an LNG technical superintendent is US$ 113 528, and for an LNG chief engineer is US$ 121 536.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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