The decision to move this year’s TMS Tanker Conference to The Atlantis Dubai payed off in a big way, with a more than 90% increase the number of attendees in the ballroom. The one-day event, held on Tuesday 16th October, attracted over 220 delegates, a record-breaking number.
Trevor Pereira, managing director, explains, “We moved the Conference to The Atlantis to ensure not only that we could meet growing demand from the market, but also that the venue was really upmarket as is befitting for such an elite group of tanker industry professionals. The big rise in delegate numbers shows this was the right strategy, but also how topical and relevant the topics on the agenda were in taking the event to a whole new level.”
This was the third annual tanker conference staged by The Maritime Standard and took as its theme ‘Getting the most out of more positive markets.’ Clive Woodbridge, Conference Editor, says. “Despite well-documented politico-economic concerns, there are some cautiously optimistic signs that the tanker trades are in recovery mode, and this sense of optimism was evident in many of the presentations. There were a number of critical issues, as well as opportunities, that were highlighted however, and in particular the concern about the 2020 sulphur cap and the problems associated with installing exhaust gas scrubbers was evident. There was general agreement that this was a refinery problem and not a shipping matter.”
Keynote addresses were given by Dr Nikolas Tsakos, chairman of Intertanko, and Ali Shehab, deputy chief executive of Kuwait Oil Tanker Company. In addition, Shahab Al Jassmi of DP World stepped into give the keynote address for Abdullah Bin Damithan, chief commercial officer, DP World, UAE Region.
The case for a more optimistic assessment of the tanker business was persuasively made by some of the most influential and expert figures in the business. These included Captain Abdulkareem al Masabi, chief executive officer, ADNOC Logistics & Services; Captain Anoop Kumar Sharma, chairman and managing director, Shipping Corporation of India; Tarik Al Junaidi, chief executive, Oman Shipping Company; Khamis Juma Buamim, managing director and group chief executive, Gulf Navigation; and Chris Peters, chief executive, E Ships.
Other speakers who made a big impact, in discussing support infrastructure and services, included Petros Doukas, chairman, Capital Partners; Rajiv Agarwal, chief executive, Essar Ports, Tim Smith, director, Maritime Strategies International; and Gaurav Moolwaney, executive director, Standard Chartered. This session was chaired by Captain Jitendra Misra, from Emarat Maritime.
Environmental regulations, safety and security remain hot topics for the industry and the third and final session kept people in their seats. Chaired by Ibrahim Fahmy, ADNOC Offshore, speakers included Capt. Stephen Bligh, DNV GL; Waleed Al Tamimi, chief operating officer, Tasneef; June Manoharan, regional director, Lukoil Marine Lubricants; Captain Tony Field, Lloyds Register; Peter Sahlen, R&D manager, and Roger Harfouche, regional director, Marlink,
Clive Woodbridge, adds, “The feedback we received from this year’s conference was overwhelmingly favourable, and there was a great atmosphere in the ballroom with lot of interaction between panellists and audience. We are pleased that the Conference strengthened its reputation as the leading meeting place for senior figures from the tanker industry and provided such a vibrant opportunity to exchange information and market insights.”