Ship repair capacity in focus at Seatrade summit
Dubai, June 16, 2014
International and regional shipping operators, ports, financiers and maritime professionals are set to meet in Dubai at the upcoming Seatrade Middle East Maritime (SMEM) summit and exhibition.
The three-day event, which will start on October 28, will discuss the opportunities and challenges that global fleet growth will present to the region as it steadily develops into a centre of excellence for ship repair and refurbishment.
A dedicated panel session on ship repair, which has attracted high profile experts, will debate the issues surrounding ship repair and refurbishment, said a statement.
Chris Hayman, chairman of Seatrade, organisers of SMEM, said: “The Middle East is a world-class centre of excellence for ship repair with a number of well-respected shipyards already offering a diverse range of services. We are seeing new joint ventures between the region and Asia in the dry dock sector, with the Gulf set to offer the largest ship repair capacity outside of China.”
According to Drewry Maritime Research’s Q1 2014 report ‘Ship Operating Costs Annual Review & Forecast’, ship operators remained under pressure to keep operating costs to a minimum last year due to weak freight earnings, with restrictive repairs and maintenance regimes instigated in order to counter rises in expenditure.
This was supported by last year’s weak steel prices, but with new regulations and an element of catch-up in repair due, Drewry expects repair and maintenance expenditure to rise by at least 2.5-3 per cent per annum over the next two years.
"The thorny issue of maintaining fleets for operational readiness while maximising commercial capacity is a constant concern for both shipyards and vessel owners, but with increased capacity in the region, the Middle East is perfectly positioned as a key geographical access point for quality repair, maintenance and refitting services,” said Hayman.
Drewry Maritime Research also expects global container port demand to grow by just over five per cent per annum through to 2017, exceeding 800 million TEUs per year; and this expected growth is more than the entire 2012 throughput of North America, Europe and the Middle East combined.
This and other sector drivers, such as the expansion of offshore projects and the implementation of new technical regulations for the shipping industry will also be discussed, with the panel set to share details of a newly-researched, in-depth competition analysis, alongside the issue of how to introduce best practices to maintain a continual updated diversity of improved ship repair services.
The conference will also include sessions on the role of new infrastructure developments such as rail in the region’s logistical mix, the growth and expansion of offshore projects, downstream investment in the Middle East and its impact on ship demand as well as the region’s prospects as a hub for bunkering.
The event is an integral part of Dubai Maritime Week which will run concurrently. - TradeArabia News Service