21 February 2012

SMP conference takes the gateway to growth:

The last few months have seen a number of conferences and exhibitions taking place in different metros of India most of them going unnoticed. However, the SMP World Conference 2012 which is always conducted on a dual theme was different. For one it was reported to have lived up to its charismatic trait as a profile enhancer for participants who take part in the expo helping them to reap rich dividends. Whilst the conference offered opportunities to network with a galaxy of shipping icons, port operators, ship builders, manning agents, freight forwarders, charterers and others from various quarters of the globe.

Most exhibitors expressed satisfaction with the response from the trade as the footfall was much above expectation. “There were a large number of enquiries some of which are expected to get converted to firm orders,” said a ship builder, not wanting to be named. Some Japanese ship ancillary producers said that they were now keen on opening offices in India.

The first two-days of the conference which focused on shipping and ship building, was more of a “dry run” of sorts on the route ‘New Era’ on shipping and  ‘Future Trends’ are expected to take. Akshay Jain, CEO of Vedam, Design & Technical Consultancy unraveled a new design for ‘Ballast Water Treatment’ that was backed with interesting advantages. Patrick Baan, Director – Ship Performance, Wartsila Italia S.p.A. depicted ‘Energy Efficiency Design’ presenting details about different features of the ship’s functions that could improve performance.

A remarkable presentation on ‘Zero Emissions Ship’ was made by Holger Jefferies, Vice President, Ship New Building, ASEA – Germanischer Lloyd SE. “Oil prices will go on increasing and search for oil will go into the deeper seas,” he said. “The use of Hydrogen for running ship engine can deliver zero emission.” He went into the economics of liquid hydrogen production for using as fuel compared to other fuels and their viability. Gert Christensen, Sr Naval Architect and Master Mariner, Knud E. Hansen A/S Denmark on the other hand came up with some of the ‘New Ship Designs for the Next Decade’. He dwelt on resourcefulness and potentiality of each of the designs and how they would meet with the future requirements.

The session on ‘Future Trends in Shipping’ highlighted how the ship recycling regulations were evolving. This was aptly explained by Pravin Nagarsheth, President of Iron & Steel Scrap & Ship Breakers Association and Dilip Mehrotra, Deputy Chief Surveyor cum Senior Deputy DG (Tech), Directorate General of Shipping.  “4 per cent of ships go for recycling each year,” pointed out Mr Nagarsheth and 90% of this takes place either in India (the main recycling country), Bangladesh, China and Turkey.” The beaching method is here to stay according to him since it was the cheapest, environment friendly and productive. Mr Mehrotra gave details of the various method employed world over in recycling ships. The prominent ones include tidal beaching, non-tidal beaching, alongside recycling methods. He felt India’s ship recycling would peak in a few years time.

The highlight of the conference was the seminar on “Japanese Marine Equipment’ which drew a lot of interests among the participants. Yukinobu Fujimoto, Vice Chairman of JSMEA & Chairman of Fuji Trading Company Ltd gave an overview of the scope of Japanese equipment. An introduction to the Yanmar’s activities in India was made by Hiroshi Ishikawa, Vice President of Yanmar India Pvt Ltd. Yukinori Sakai, M. D. of Azuma Singapore spoke about ‘the Marine Engine Parts Reconditioning’ and Junya Asano, chief engineer, Daihatsu Diesel manufacturing Co Ltd about the newly launched ‘Environment – Responsive Diesel engines’. An Introduction to Kamome Propellers and Products was made by Hiroshi Itazawa, President, Kamome Propeller Co Ltd. A presentation on Mitsubishi two-stroke diesel engine - UE was made by Yohei Tsuji of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.

The Ports World Conference 2012, being the second conference that followed immediately was based on the theme: Incentivising capacity addition.  It discussed threadbare the prevailing regulations and policy environment.

There were deliberations on the Impact of regulation on the Public Private Partnership model which is prevalent in the 13 major ports of India and other port sectors. The role of the regulatory authority for major ports known as Tariff Authority for Major ports (TAMP) also came under scrutiny. Thereafter, a panel discussion on ‘Connectivity of Rail, Road, to sea ports’ followed. The speakers representing different ports in India constituted the panel. They underscored the importance of good port connectivity for its successful functioning.  When it came to providing connectivity either by road or railways the main challenge was acquiring land. All private ports prefer a railway corridor as the most desired feature.  When it comes to building a green field port it was felt that the best location should be in the vicinity of a freight corridor and work for building the port should commence only after all the clearances were obtained from the government and other authorities.

Source: Maritime Professional. By Joseph Fonseca. 20 February 2012

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