Deals and Trend-Setting at Posidonia 2018
On Friday, as the gates of the Athens Metropolitan Expo closed on Friday evening to bid farewell to the 2,000 exhibiting companies and some 22,000 visitors from 92 countries, the Posidonia Exhibition opened a new chapter in its 50-year-long legacy.
The proof of the show’s lasting appeal and success was evident this year in the number of business deals struck. During the Posidonia week, Maran Gas Maritime declared options for a further LNG carrier and its second floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) at DSME. The deal came just after another major Ballast Water Treatment System retrofit project for 36 of Angelicoussis Shipping Group’s large vessels, which has gone to Ecochlor. Work will be carried out between 2018-2020 at yards in Singapore, Dubai, Qatar and China. Another Greek shipowner, Nikos Tsakos, reportedly clinched a major newbuilding deal for his company Tsakos Energy Navigation for two 115,000-dwt Aframaxes at Daehan Shipbuilding of Korea.
In addition, ABB Turbocharging and Multi Marine Services signed an agreement to open a turbo charging service point in the Cypriot port of Limassol, and Airbus signed an MoU with Wilhelmsen to develop an Unmanned Air System (UAS) for the delivery of ship supplies.
With the eyes of world shipping firmly fixed on Posidonia 2018, many companies chose the event to unveil major initiatives, launch new products and announced important developments, including classification society DNV GL, which released its first cyber security class notations to help shipowners and operators protect their assets from hacking incidents. Winterthur Gas announced the inauguration of a training centre in Piraeus, and the revamped Honduras Registry made its debut at Posidonia 2018, unveiling its agreement to contract the international management of its flag to Panamanian company International MarConsult. Also, Piraeus Port Authority S.A. (PPA) was awarded double certification with the ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 standards by Lloyd’s Register (LR).
“The list of new business deals goes on and on as multi-million dollar deals on the Posidonia Exhibition floor is the norm, being the most eagerly awaited trade event in the biennial shipping calendar. This year, on our 50th anniversary, we have witnessed a tremendous response from the global shipping community whose presence and activity helped us deliver the most dynamic Posidonia ever,” said Theodore Vokos, Executive Director of Posidonia Exhibitions S.A.
While the commercial aspect of Posidonia has long been acknowledged, the event has also grown to be the bellwether of world shipping. This year, a total of 40 seminars and conferences set the global maritime agenda, debating the burning issues of environmental regulations, safety, clean fuel, leadership and digitalization.
At the traditional press conference of the Union of Greek Shipowners on the last day of Posidonia, the group's chairman, Theodore Veniamis, addressed an international audience of journalists. Veniamis commented on the 2020 global sulfur limit imposed by the International Maritime Organisation, a hot topic for the shipowning community in Greece and internationally.
“The deadline of 2020 was agreed some time ago, back in 2016. We have no issues with the 0.5 percent sulphur fuel limit as long as the oil companies can provide the volume that is required and deliver it where it is required . . . But today, we have received no commitments that the specs of the new fuel will be compliant, nor have we received guarantees about potential liability and safety issues,” Veniamis said. “For instance, we are told that oil companies will receive ISO certification in 2023, three years after we are supposed to start using it. We are not asking to cancel the 2020 regulation, we are asking for more time for the providers of fuel and engines to be ready.”
Posidonia's first 50 years are now complete, but the conference's organizers are already making ready for the next event. Posidonia 2020 will be held from June 1 to June 5 at the Athens Metropolitan Expo. The event is organized under the auspices of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs & Insular Policy, the Union of Greek Shipowners and the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, with the support of the Municipality of Piraeus and the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee.