With some five months still to go before the June 4 opening day, Posidonia 2018 is cruising full speed ahead to yet another record-breaking year with space bookings already up by 10% compared to the same time two years ago and over 90% of exhibition floor already committed. Organisers project that over 1,850 companies will exhibit their products and services at this year’s event and visitor numbers will rise to 22,000.
The increased demand for participation at the world’s most prestigious shipping trade event has resulted in the addition of 1,000sqm of exhibitor floor space just to keep up with increased demand, which is derived from a strong Greek order book for newbuildings and upgrades of the existing fleet to modernise ICT standards and meet ever stringent environmental regulations.
“Posidonia’s strength and appeal is drawn by the collective quality and reputation of its exhibitors, delegates and visitors, debutants or repeaters, who commit funds and resources every two years to be part of a signature industry event that is a true celebration of everything shipping stands for,” said Theodore Vokos, Executive Director, Posidonia Exhibitions S.A., the biennial event’s organiser.
“A key attraction remains the strong presence of the powerful Greek shipowning community at every Posidonia, which is leading global newbuilding activity with 61 Greek companies having ships on order worth an estimated US$16bn.” said Vokos.
Over 260 ships built to high specs, with many of them Tier II and Tier III compliant are on order for Greek interests at the dawn of 2018, 105 of them contracted in 2017. The spending spree is also regulation driven and stems from the recent ratification of the ballast water treatment treaty and type approvals by the US Coast Guard, as well as new regulations regarding SOX and NOX emissions and Monitoring, Reporting and verification (MRV) requirements, which have speeded up investment in scrubbers, LNG fueled ships and digitalisation of operations. With Greek interests currently running the most modern fleet globally and operating all across the globe, compliance with new environmental regulations is a must for Greek shipowners.
Some shipping companies, such as Capital Maritime & Trading, predict that new environmental regulations will make a quarter of today’s global fleet obsolete, giving them reason to invest $1,1 billion in upgrading 71 ships and ordering new ones. This flurry in newbuilding orders and fleet upgrades is drawing the world’s maritime industry to Posidonia 2018 in bigger numbers than ever before with space bookings or expressions of interest surpassing any previously set event record.
Once more the Posidonia exhibition space will be dominated by some 20 national pavilions and especially the leading shipbuilding nations, such as the traditional Far Eastern power houses of China, Japan and South Korea. Maritime Centres such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and many others will once more present their wide range of services to the global shipping industry and long-standing exhibitors such as the USA, UK, Denmark and Holland will field greater participations than before. But national participation is not reserved only for traditional maritime nations, as Posidonia welcomes newcomers such as landlocked Luxembourg and agricultural economies like Georgia, while Poland will also make its debut. The majority of flag states will also be present at Posidonia, with Panama, Liberia, the Marshall Islands, Malta, Cyprus, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and Palau amongst others returning once more to the heartbeat of global shipping.
Among the new highlights we count the Greek pavilion organised by HEMEXPO, the association of Hellenic Marine Equipment Manufacturers and Exporters, which will span over 400 sqm of exhibition space with the mission to promote Greek engineering and experienced maritime solutions for the global shipping industry and looking to further expand its offerings on the makers lists of the most important shipyards worldwide.
The Greek presence is complemented by a second Greek pavilion, organised by the Worldwide Industrial & Marine Association (WIMA), representing Greek companies active in the fields of ship construction, ship spare parts & supplies, ship technical and general services and marine equipment manufacturing.
Another important new participant is the Greek utility company Gastrade, backed by Gaslog Ltd, which will manage the Alexandroupolis Independent Natural Gas System (INGS), a modern, cutting edge technology project which comprises an offshore floating unit for the reception, storage and re-gasification of LNG and a system of a subsea and an onshore gas transmission pipeline through which the natural gas is shipped into the Greek National Natural Gas System (NNGS) and onwards to the final consumers.
Furthermore, Saudi Arabia’s state oil company Saudi Aramco, and its partners Lamprell, the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) and Hyundai Heavy Industries, have chosen Posidonia 2018 for the global unveiling of its International Maritime Industries (IMI) joint venture, created to develop one of the world’s largest full-service maritime facilities which will include a new shipyard focused on the offshore sector. The new project has already received orders for more than 20 rigs and 52 ships over the next decade.
And while oil continues to fuel humanity’s universal transportation needs, data is fast becoming the new oil spinning out a whole new brave world where artificial intelligence and smart shipping will dominate. The drive for digitalisation, the increased needs for smart shipping solutions and high demand for constant fleet connectivity has led to an impressive Posidonia outing by the ICT sector, with over 30 companies confirming their participation in order to compete for a bigger slice of the ever-growing needs of the most modern fleet the world has ever seen.
The Posidonia conference and seminars programme has started filling up and will once more include over 30 conferences, product presentations, technical seminars and press conferences, all taking place at the Metropolitan Expo. The conference programme will start with the prestigious Tradewinds Shipowners Forum which will tackle current issues facing shipping.
An important new event will be the HEMEXPO-powered “Support the Local Maritime Industry Summit”, organised by Newsfront – Naftiliaki and to take place under the auspices of the Marine Technical Managers Association (MARTECMA), which will give Greek shipping companies the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the state of the art HEMEXPO products and services. This conference will enable them to make educated decisions on future investments going forward and will also further promote the Greek maritime cluster, which is on track to contributing an ever-growing part of the national GDP.
A new feature of the Posidonia Conference and Seminar programme will be the 4th Energy & Shipping Seminar, organised by the Institute of Energy for South East Europe (IENE), which will provide an in-depth analysis of the Global Oil and Gas Markets and analyse the factors that define the correlation between energy cargoes and shipping.
Posidonia is organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs & Insular Policy, the Union of Greek Shipowners and the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping and with the support of the Municipality of Piraeus and the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee.