Europe needs to understand the strategic importance of Greek shipping as the owner of 59% of the EU fleet, especially in times when shipping can play a crucial role in the continent’s scramble for energy independence, said Melina Travlos, President of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) during a press conference at Posidonia Exhibition.
“Energy transition is the most important issue for us. What Europe does with decarbonisation regulations such as Fit for 55 and Emissions Trading System (ETS), must be guided by the need to preserve and promote the competitiveness of European shipping as a whole. Certain decisions may be detrimental to our industry and could risk losing our competitive edge against competition from Asia and other regions,” she said.
Travlos added: “We want a global solution and not one that is only impacting specific regions. We want realistic solutions that safeguard navigation safety.”
“Through memberships in various organisations, Greek shipping is present in every international forum where we always try to help the implementation of the right policies for the industry. Europe insists on Fit for 55, whereas we insist that the solution must be international within a framework set by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
“Traditionally Greek shipping is the first to invest in new technologies and new vessels, therefore we will also be the first to adopt any new solutions once they are made available to us. Any new fuel or technology come at cost which is ultimately passed on to the end consumer. This needs to be made widely known.
“We will continue to defend the position and interests of Greek shipping. We want people to understand the importance of shipping in our everyday lives because the industry is not just a business, but a strategic partner for every country, every government. This is something that is not clear, and we want to help fix it,” said Travlos.
The eagerly anticipated UGS press conference held every two years at Posidonia, last held four years ago due to the pandemic-induced cancellation of the 2020 event, was the icing on the cake of an incredibly busy programme of 68 shipping star-studded conferences and seminars during the exhibition’s five-day span.
Records also broke on the exhibition floor where organisers saw an increase of 7% in exhibitor space compared to the previous edition and a significant rise of almost 18% in the number of visitors who shoot up to a total of over 27,000 (as of Friday 10 June – 13.30pm), versus the 23,000 who visited the event in 2018.
And business was booming also during the event with major maritime industry players coming together to finalise significant deals such as Maran Gas Maritime’s reported US$233.7 million order to Daewoo Shipbuilding for two LNG carriers.
Also, at Posidonia 2022, DNV, the classification society headquartered in Høvik, Norway, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Saronic Ferries, for the development of an electric ship.
Strategic partnerships were also formalised with Capital Ship Management and Lloyd’s Register announcing their intention to try out new biofuels in a pilot project on board the Capital-managed 300,000dwt VLCC, Apollonas.
Theodore Vokos, Managing Director, Posidonia Exhibitions S.A., said: “This has been by far the most successful Posidonia in the history of the event. The innovation presented on the exhibition floor has indeed been ground-breaking, the knowledge imparting during the various conferences and seminars was inspirational and the volume and quality of our visitors surpassed everyone’s expectations. It’s thrilling to be back with such a positive impact. We are thankful and grateful for the unwavering support of the global maritime community.”
Posidonia 2022 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.