Inaugural Seatrade Offshore Marine Asia (SOMA) Ends on a High

By MarEx 2012-04-27 14:22:08

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) could hold the key to a cost effective and environmentally efficient industry, if certain challenges are overcome

The inaugural Seatrade Offshore Marine Asia (SOMA) conference, which came to a close at the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre, ended on a high as delegates participated in the final industry panel discussion. The „Technical and Environmental Challenges? session highlighted how Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) could hold the key to a cost effective and environmentally efficient industry.

Seatrade chairman, Chris Hayman said, “With soaring global demand for energy, the Asia-Pacific region continues to grow as a major global player in the offshore marine industry. The calibre of attendees at this week?s inaugural SOMA conference was testament to the confidence the industry has in the future growth and development of this sector in the region. Conference delegates were extremely optimistic that the region will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Over the course of the three-day conference, experts across a variety of industries came together to discuss the dynamics of the offshore marine sector, its opportunities and the changing strategies of industry players. The conference highlighted the strong demand for offshore support services, and the industry?s evolving service requirements as energy players increasingly explore opportunities in deeper waters.

The final panel discussion at SOMA addressed the technical and environmental challenges currently facing the offshore marine industry. A major highlight was the potential of LNG as the key to a cost effective and environmentally efficient shipping industry. While recognising the opportunities LNG has to offer, the industry acknowledged it faces challenges such as the current lack of infrastructure, technology and the costs associated with adopting LNG as a preferred fuel source.

Dr Lorenzo Casarosa, Senior Consultant in DNV's Clean Technology Centre said: “Replacing conventional shipping fuel with LNG could hold the key to a cost effective and environmentally friendly industry. LNG offers significant benefits over traditional fossil fuels as it is cleaner than oil. However, the region faces certain challenges when it comes to utilising this fuel source, including a lack of infrastructure, no „flag state? regulations, the expense of new build and retrofitting and uncertainty around the price of LNG. However I?m confident these challenges can be addressed and the region is well placed to lead the way in terms of sector innovation.”

During the course of the first two days of SOMA, participants agreed that the whole industry needs to improve training and employee retention, with global training standards a potential solution to developing talent in the industry. Industry fragmentation was also discussed and identified as a barrier to the expansion of Asia?s offshore marine industry. Looking to the future, the industry saw the region?s capacity to meet the increasing demand for Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) units a major challenge, as oil companies push technology to the limits to drill deeper to renew their energy sources.

Mr Hayman said, “As Asia continues to lead the growth in demand for energy, opportunities to develop the region?s offshore marine sector abound. Seatrade will continue to support, this dynamic industry.”

For more information, visit http://www.seatrade-asia.com.