Harvey caught up with Owen Preece to ask about his new business, Cedar Marine and his background.
Can you introduce us to Cedar Marine?
Cedar Marine was founded in late 2020 and was established to supply maritime organisations with the tools they need to realise an environmentally sustainable future. Cedar Marine operates as an industry partner to provide technical and commercial support to maritime businesses, vessel owners, managers and operators.
Our Carbon Management Plan is a key offering for the maritime sector and enables organisations to monitor their performance and commit to achieving their decarbonisation targets, whilst maintaining commercial success, operational efficiency, and compliance with changing regulations and supply chain requirements.
We have extensive experience within the sub 500GT vessel market including Classification and Statutory regulations and offer a full spectrum of operational support services such as; vessel survey (including coding), IMCA CMIDs (MISW), valuation and condition, new building support, project management, owners representation, commissioning, refit, damage, modification and repairs.
What is your role at Cedar Marine and how does a day in your life look?
I am co-founder and Managing Director. Day to day I am almost always out and about on jobs or meeting clients, new and old to discuss ongoing and potential projects whilst looking for new opportunities
Our main office is in the North East in Newcastle and we also have a base on the South coast in Southampton, so I try to split my time North and South.
We have recently expanded the team, allowing us to continue to develop our offering and further increase our work capacity.
What do you think is needed to ensure that the industry can decarbonise?
Firstly, you need a plan, knowing where to start on the journey towards decarbonisation is as important as knowing where you want to end up.
An analytical and targeted approach to decarbonisation allows organisations to focus their resources on key emission areas within their operations, assets and infrastructure, to realise tangible reductions.
Technology and innovation are a key part of decarbonisation, but one of the biggest barriers to both is funding. I would like to see a greater level of investment into the maritime sector to accelerate this.
With Carbon reporting set to become mandatory for convention vessels over 5000GT, our Carbon Management Plan maps out a documented strategy and a set of actions to help an organisation meet their carbon reduction objectives, irrelevant of vessel size. Typically, it will include a summary of previous carbon footprint assessments, carefully identified carbon reduction targets and defined actions to achieve the goals set by the organisation. The tool is useful to companies, both in the day to day running of their business and also increasing the company value for long term financial growth.
What is your career background?
I started my career in Classification with Bureau Veritas as a Technical Centre Naval Architect and worked in various office based and survey roles finishing off after nearly 8 years as UK & Ireland New Construction Manager and Business Development Manager for Specialist and Non-Convention Vessels.
What first interested you in a career in Maritime?
I grew up spending time between Cardiff and Pembrokeshire and started sailing from a young age, I loved nothing more than being on the water. I was always fascinated by ships and engineering, so for me a career in the industry was a natural progression.
What is your motivator at work?
Knowing that we are working to future proof the industry and make it sustainable in the ‘long term’ is a big driver for me, it’s all about making a positive impact and driving change in the right direction. Surrounding ourselves with like-minded people is a huge motivator to keep pushing forward and finding the best solutions for our clients.
In both your previous and current roles, what have been some of the standout activities that you have been involved with?
I have been fortunate enough to be involved in a number of exciting and innovative projects throughout my career namely; Surface Effect vessels, Hybrid CTV’s, HS-OSC, optimised foiling CTV’s, Autonomous vessels, advanced composite vessels, zero emission vessels and many more.
What is the most enjoyable part of your work?
For me it has to be the variety and that every day is different, I always look forward to the day ahead and the challenges it will inevitably bring.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
In my spare time you will normally find me out in the countryside, on the beach with my dogs or out on the open road driving somewhere (or no-where).
What advice do you give to anyone interested in a career within maritime?
Go for it, there are many opportunities within our industry, in particular apprenticeships; which allow practical hands on experience to really build on theoretical knowledge, whilst gaining qualifications that will open doors across various sectors, not just marine.