Saudi Aramco’s Marine Department recently sponsored the 9th Middle East (ME) Ship Tech Conference 2016, held in Dubai. The conference brought together ship owners, operators, charterers and ship technology providers to discuss how advances in ship technology are meeting the challenges of achieving operational efficiency and sustainability for vessel owners and operators.
Mohammad A. Al Sultan, acting manager of Saudi Aramco’s Marine Department, gave the opening address and welcomed delegates. In his keynote speech, he addressed Saudi Aramco’s focus on manufacturing high quality work boats, as the company owns some of the largest offshore fields and is a major offshore vessel owner, operator and charterer.
Al Sultan also discussed the development of the King Salman International Complex for Maritime Industries and Services at Ras Al-Khair as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. This new maritime facility will have an important role in supporting Saudi Aramco’s marine and offshore activities into the future.
The annual conference is one of the most well-known asset management and technology development conferences in the Middle East region. This highly respected event draws in ship owners, managers, class societies, regulators and other high level industry executives that have substantial stakes in the high value assets that the shipping and offshore industry relies upon.
The conference has evolved to be one of the most interactive, high-level forums where industry can discuss, debate and learn about asset developments and how these can add value in their day-to-day operations. Current shipping markets are volatile, large owners are experiencing financial difficulties, vessels are being laid up and the general economic picture is uncertain. In such conditions, those with the knowledge and capability to invest can draw a clear advantage from their competitors.
As well as gaining understanding of macro-economic trends and putting these into a trade perspective, delegates at the conference had the opportunity to piece together developments that can assist in their asset performance and can influence their decision-making.
With the challenges facing the markets, the conference 2016 was staged as a multi-stream event. The event allowed different sectors to benefit from more detailed discussions and debates on specific topics. Main themes included global trade patterns; smart operations/smart business; Middle East offshore market survival; changing international maritime regulations; technology, crew and safety; and Middle East shipbuilding and ship repair markets.