Tanker conference highlights regional growth opportunities
The inaugural The Maritime Standard Tanker Conference, which took place at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Dubai, on 25th October, highlighted the scope that exists for sustained growth and expansion within the region’s tanker sector, provided investment is sustained and cooperation between various participants is strengthened. It attracted a high quality audience of around 150 people, including delegates from leading owners and operators from across the region.
Indeed Dubai-based operator, GNH Maritime Ship Management and Operations, a subsidiary of Gulf Navigation Holding, signed a contract for the construction of an MR type chemical tanker. The vessel will be built by China Shipbuilding & Offshore International and Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group.
A high quality line up of speakers at the conference, organised by Flagship Events, provided a unique insight into the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead, not just for tanker owners and operators, but also companies providing services to the tanker sector.
Two leading figures from the region’s shipping and maritime sector gave keynote addresses. H.E. Shaikh Daij Bin Salman Al Khalifa, chairman of the board at ASRY in Bahrain, gave a valuable perspective as one of the leading tanker repair yards in the region. Shaik Daij set out some of the factors he expected to see influencing the business over the next few years.
He was followed Ali Shehab, deputy, chief executive of Kuwait Oil Tanker Company (KOTC) who set out his views on the market and the need for a new public dialogue around tanker freight rates. He also set out KOTC’s plans to upgrade its fleet following earlier successful investment completed in 2014.
Speakers in the lead session on tanker market prospects included Khamis Juma Buamim, managing director and group CEO of Gulf Navigation; Naser Al-Abdulkareen, president of Bahri; and Philip Tinsley, maritime security manager at BIMCO.
Jasmine Fichte, of Fichte & Co, chaired a lively session on investing to service this market, with presentations by Petros Doukas, former Greek Finance Minister; another by Ali Shehab, deputy CEO of KOTC; and Thomas Kriwat, chief executive of Mercmarine Group.
A final session on servicing the needs of the regional tanker market, chaired by Clive Woodbridge, editor of The Maritime Standard, featured an overview from Amir Mosadeghi, chief executive, Islamic P&I Club; and Captain. Harihar Prasad, managing director of McQuilling Shipping Serrvices.
Trevor Pereira, managing director of The Maritime Standard, said: “This is our first dedicated tanker conference and we believe it is very well timed, as this is probably the only shipping sector that is doing relatively well at the moment. We managed to gather together a high quality cast of speakers and the 150 or so attendees found their insights to be enormously valuable I am certain. The networking opportunity was exceptional with delegations from Iran, China and Turkey in the room, for example.”
TMS plans to build on the success of this inaugural event by organising a second one in 2017. Details will be available on the TMS website.