Sunday 4, October 2015

Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: The biennial Seatrade Offshore Marine & Workboats Middle East conference and exhibition opens today (Monday 5th October, 2015) at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) with a packed conference schedule headlined by 35 high-level maritime experts, and featuring an expanded industry showcase of over 180 exhibiting companies.

Taking place over three days, from 5-7 October, the region’s leading event for the workboat and offshore marine industries will focus on the challenges and opportunities facing owners, operators and regional governments involved in the offshore marine and workboats sector with a series of dedicated conference and networking sessions examining the prospects for new commercial developments and exciting technological innovation.

The event will be officially opened at 11am by Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO, Abu Dhabi Ports (ADP), followed by the conference opening keynote session, which will set the scene for three days of informative and productive discussion.

“This year we are delighted to welcome five leading maritime luminaries for our keynote address with Eng. Shamis Al Dhaheri, Chairman, Ali & Sons Marine Engineering and MD, Ali & Sons Group; Dr Khaled Al Mazrouei, CEO, Abu Dhabi Shipbuilding Company; Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO, ADP; Tim Fox, Head of Research and Chief Economist, Emirates NBD; and Rene Kofod-Olsen, CEO, Topaz Energy & Marine, presenting an insightful overview of the current industry state-of-play and future market outlook,” said Emma Howell, Head of Marketing, Middle East, Seatrade.

Conference speakers over the three days will also examine the correlation between efficient resource allocation and profitability potential, as well as discuss ways in which the industry can better communicate the benefits of a professional career in the offshore and workboats sector to a next generation audience.

This year’s forum sessions will see other regional marine and offshore experts discuss the prospects for continued industry growth in light of ongoing concern re the impact of declining oil prices and subsequent issues related to E&P spend, with input from national oil companies.

“Order book expectations and supply and demand drivers will also be hot topics for debate, especially in the context of technological advancement and the need for serious investment to match a similar commitment to maritime infrastructure development that we are seeing take shape around the region,” said Howell.

Key themes across the conference agenda also include shipbuilding technology, which will headline the morning action on day two of the conference with advances in propulsion technology, such as thruster development and the application of electricity in thruster installations and hybrid power systems, offering multiple benefits.

The session will look at the importance of ship efficiency and productivity in light of increasing demand for sophisticated offshore vessels as the region’s national oil companies continue to plough significant investment into offshore drilling and exploration.

“The advent of a new era of ultra-sophisticated vessels and exciting developments in thruster technology and hybrid power systems are undoubtedly critical to the future commercial success of the industry, but also require a strategic financial rethink for shipbuilders and vessel operators everywhere,” she added.

This ties in neatly with the two-hour scheduled panel session that will look in-depth at the availability of new lending sources, such as China, and rising interest in Islamic finance, plus expert insight and tips on identifying new sources of capital and legal risk management.

Seatrade Offshore Marine & Work Boats 2015 is set to build on the success of the 2013 exhibition and conference, which generated US$850 million in onsite orders; welcomed almost 5,000 participants (a 46% increase over 2011) from 54 countries, 211 exhibiting companies and increased its floor space by 8% to nearly 4,000 square metres. The 2015 showcase has already sold 80% of the 4,680 square metres of exhibition space reserved this year, signing up over 165 exhibitors to date.