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IMCA annual seminar – the countdown begins in earnest

Published on 29 October 2012

With less than a month to go before the 20th IMCA (International Marine Contractors Association) Annual Seminar, with its theme ‘Marine and subsea operations: a culture of sustainability’ is held in Amsterdam (28-29 November 2012), the countdown has begun in earnest. The delegate and speaker list includes leading industry figures and representatives from offshore and onshore management and operational staff, equipment suppliers, consultants, oil companies and regulators from around the world.

“We have a superb and highly topical programme,” explains IMCA’s Chief Executive, Hugh Williams. “in politics, industry, design and construction, sustainability is a vogue word. According to Gro Harlem Brundtland, ex-Prime Minister of Norway and champion in this field, it consists of three pillars: economic, environmental and social, although some critics believe these are incompatible. The oil industry with its huge budgets is a sustainability leader, delivering today what would have been either impossible or uneconomic a few years ago.

“Marine contractors have an important sustainability contribution to ensure endurance of our work and delivery of economical and environmentally sound projects with positive social interaction. This is the background to our two-day Annual Seminar, and I look forward to hearing the discussion that results.”

Strong speaker line-up
Keynote speakers including Jan Peter Balkenende, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands; Andy Woolgar of Subsea 7 and IMCA’s current President; Ronnie Bonnar, Managing Director of Repsol Nuevas Energias; Cato Hordnes, Advisor Subsea and Diving Intervention of Statoil; and Ruud Zoon, Managing Director GDF Suez will get the seminar off to a flying start on 28 November.

Both days feature morning plenary sessions with ‘Safety thinking and operational practice – an airline perspective of the marine contracting industry’ (Jarle Gimmestad of Gimmestad AS);’ Claims handling issues for contractors’ (Graeme Baird, Clyde & Co); and ‘3D visualisation in overcoming technical operational challenges’ (Bill Russell-Cargill, DOF Subsea) on Day 1; and ‘Why is 12 considered safer than 13 – the questions arising from the need to operate wind farm crew vessels with more than 12 passengers onboard’ (Philip Woodcock, Workships Contractors); ‘Noteworthy environmental initiatives in Saipem Offshore’ (Chiara Petrella, Saipem); and ‘Development of a modular offshore platform: IHC Supporter TMClass’ (Cor van der Harst, IHC Offshore & Marine BV) on Day 2.

The conference then splits on both days into three parallel sessions – Marine, Diving, and ROV and Survey, with topics under the spotlight as varied as ‘Sustainability through reliability – understanding DP failures’ and ‘A greener ship: reducing emissions through energy efficiency – a manufacturer’s perspective’; ‘Hyperbaric lifeboat mating trials – lessons learnt’ to ‘Breathing gas contamination: the facts, the dangers – the future’; and from ‘Positioning challenges in the Arctic subsea’ to ‘The role of the ROV simulator in subsea repair and leak containment’. The full programme of presentations and the invaluable workshops that help determine the IMCA work programme for the coming year are online at

As ever, networking events play an important role and there are three being held. There will be a welcome reception on 27 November at the Okura Hotel, the Seminar Dinner on 28 November at Fifteen, and a drinks and buffet reception at the conference venue after the seminar closes, at the Renaissance Hotel in the historic city centre under the copper dome of the 17th century Koepelkerk.

This year’s IMCA Annual Seminar has more supporting organisations than ever before with ADC, OGP, IADC, the Dynamic Positioning Committee of the Marine Technology Society, OCIMF, KVNR, NOGEPA and IRO as well as Offshore Support Journal all lending their backing.

What will be on show at the seminar
Twenty supplier member companies will be exhibiting at the Annual Seminar and some have provided appetite whetting information on what they will be featuring on their stands.

ABBwill focus on energy efficiency improvements for existing vessels. The main products/services on which ABB will focus are:-

  • Cooling systems – Traditionally cooling pumps and fans, for seawater cooling and engine room ventilation, are over dimensioned for the normal operating profile of a vessel and are always running at 100%. By powering the pumps or fans via Variable Frequency Drives energy can be saved since a 10% reduction in motor speed will mean a 27% reduction in power consumed (affinity laws).
  • EMMA „¢ – An advisory software tool that can act as the basis for a SEEMP and provides real time evidence of savings on a vessel.
  • Ship-to-Shore power – ABB packaged solution providing vessels with a possibility to shut their generators down in the harbour thereby reducing greenhouse and particulate emissions and reducing noise and vibration for people living in the vicinity of harbour areas.

ABB Marine provides energy efficiency projects on a turn-key basis and provides support to these products from 23 marine service centres across the globe. With these initiatives ABB Marine help clients to operate their assets in a more environmentally friendly way. In real terms this helps address one of the most significant challenges facing the industry – fuel cost. Their featured exhibit is used by/of use to: ship owners, and ship operators.

ANSELL PROTECTIVE SOLUTIONS AB will be exhibiting their new Viking Haztech TPU drysuit for contaminated water diving, and warm water/climate diving. This new suit represents a new material addition to their professional drysuit range. It offers an alternative to their established rubber suit range, and is of use to commercial divers, police and fire teams. Their other exhibits will include the Viking HWS hot water suit.

The FRANKLIN OFFSHORE GROUP OF COMPANIES is a leading provider of steel wire rope, rigging and mooring equipment. Their expertise includes the design and manufacture of heavy duty lifting slings and Flemish-Lock ® cable laid slings. They are proudly taking this opportunity to present to the European market their FRANKLIN Flemish-Lock slings which provide 100% termination efficiency as compared to 75% with conventional hand-spliced cable laid slings. Flemish-Lock cable laid slings are produced using a patented process, complete with a unique termination method which includes a Flemish Eye, locked and secured within a special engineered outer sleeve filled with MAKLOCK ® resin.

The manufacturing process of these slings is strictly controlled according to the company’s ISO 9001: 2008 Quality Management system with accreditation by Det Norske Veritas ( DNV). They will have photographs, Flemish-Lock slings models, brochures and a special”article” issued by Pieter Kampers a consultant specialized in heavy lift and cable laid slings on display. Other exhibits will include: Inspection services, E- Mag rope inspections

Upcoming – Franklin Offshore Europe B.V. moving to a new facility – They are committed to operating Europe’s leading rigging, inspection and engineering quayside logistics support base, and look forward to moving to their new 40,000 m2 base in 2014 that will allow them to enhance their provision of quality rigging equipment; from a single sling, shackle or steel wire rope all the way to special project specific heavy lift slings including the Flemish -Lock ® cable laid sling with its high lifting capacity. Their comprehensive range of inventory coupled with their expertise operating from their quayside facility will allow them to mobilise timely and efficiently for supply of both integrated turnkey temporary or permanent mooring

IHC HYTECH / IHC OFFSHORE & MARINE will feature ‘general’ diving equipment: wetbell, LARS, decompression chamber, etc

MARITIME ASSURANCE & CONSULTING LTD will be launching the marine element of their service offering and also promoting the DP element. They are looking to recruit team members for these business streams to strengthen their overall business profile, service current business and forecasted sales in the pipeline. They have also increased their office space in anticipation of additional team members.”These are exciting times at MAC as we look to expand the business,” they say.

They will be particularly focussing on their core business streams: Dynamic Positioning; engineering and marine; and their recruitment and selection business – MAC Resourcing.

They were recently awarded: 2012 Winner, Business Success Under 3 Years by Grampian Awards for Business Enterprise, and were delighted to win this category as they were up against some tough competition in this category.

MAC achieved ISOQAR accreditation for its integrated business management system. The accreditation spans the ISO 9001 quality standard, ISO 14001 environmental standard and the OHSAS 18001 health and safety standard. This was a great achievement in 12 months of trading.

MAC located to new premises at the Mackenzie Building, Aberdeen earlier this year due to significant growth over the company’s first year in business and an equally positive start to the second. The new office is more than three and half times the size of MAC’s old office space, spread over two floors.

Headcount at MAC has increased from 2 staff members, January 2011 to 21 staff, October 2012. &

OCEANOS JSC will highlight:

  • consulting services related to any diving or maritime operations and/or operators, manufacturers, service companies, agents etc. on the Russian market.
  • design and engineering facilities that meet stringent quality requirements and are built to accomplish the most technologically difficult projects.
  • highly skilled technical teams to provide remote or on-site technical and operational support including maintenance of all types of diving equipment, ROVs and related hardware.

Oceanos offers an effective and unique combination of services, consisting of design and engineering, technical support and consulting for subsea projects of any kind. Their engineers and technicians are capable of dealing with complex tasks and provide complete custom solutions. They do not just develop and supply underwater equipment or technology. Every project they undertake is addressed individually and with the best possible financial and quality outcome for their clients.

Oceanos is an independent private company founded in 2003. It is an active growing company, joining together experts in subsea operations, diving equipment, shipbuilding, engineering, hydro acoustics and machinery. By working together they have helped build a reputation for excellence and continue to reinforce Oceanos position not only on the Russian subsea industry market, but also abroad. This is the first time OCEANOS has taken part in an exhibition outside Russia as an exhibitor. And they are ready to provide cost-effective solutions to our foreign customers.

Their design facilities include:

  • 7 designer workstations running licensed SolidWorks program modules;
  • 1 designer workstation running licensed ?????? program module;
  • SolidWorks Enterprise Product Data Management (EPDM) for the integrated design process;
  • COSMOSWorks module for strength property calculations.

Samples of their projects:

  • Containerized diving systems of various designs
  • Truck mounted mobile diving system
  • Mobile training facility for divers and ROV pilots (patented)
  • Hypobaric transport chamber with special lifting and docking devices
  • ROV control and workshop vans
  • WROV launch and recovery system with ice guard (patented)
  • Various samples of commercial and military diving equipment.

Oceanos employs high-skilled engineers and technicians qualified and experienced with:

  • One atmosphere diving suits (HARDSUIT type) maintenance and repair (the only civilian group in Europe)
  • WROV and survey ROV piloting and maintenance
  • Maintenance of all types of diving equipment and related hardware.

Oceanos and its exhibits will be definitely interesting for:

  • companies looking for any business start-up or being involved in any project related to Russian diving, ROV and subsea market
  • companies looking for a cost effective subsea or diving engineering facilities

OCEANWIDE SAFETY AT SEA will focus on the awareness of evacuation systems for saturation divers. They will have a model (scale roughly 1:20) on the stand, showing half a SPHL enabling it to show the evacuation possibilities. Oceanwide Safety at Sea is currently the only manufacturer that has delivered over 40 SPHL systems, both bottom- and side-mating. Their systems are of use to every company / person involved with saturation diving.

The company has been in existence for 10 years, delivering worldwide SPHLs, but also produces regular life-boats and tailor-made lifeboats, like Partially Enclosed Lifeboats for cruise ships. Furthermore, the company is a service centre for Norsafe and with a location at the waterfront in Rotterdam, can do all necessary service to any lifeboat.

PETROFAC TRAINING SERVICES BV will feature Competent Response. This is a solution developed to assure access to competent personnel and specialist services in emergency situations. A reporting system provides management oversight of the status of emergency arrangements, allowing the competence and availability of critical personnel to be continually monitored and maintained whilst robust auditing monitors competency levels to build and record individual training and exercise plans. It allows multiple sites and teams to be rapidly traced with real time access to information on competency and availability ensuring that those charged with responding are available and have the necessary skills and authorizations to handle it.

They will also focus on Training, Competence, Assessments, Competence Frameworks, Competence Assurance & Management Systems, Employee Development Plans, Workforce Development.

Their integrated approach to competence and capability development enables their clients to achieve competent, safer and more efficient workforces. They have the capability to work with their clients to deliver to their required standards, whether that be internal, regional or international standards.

They have a strong track record of working with accrediting bodies to help develop the standards and also in attaining and maintain these standards across the globe.

They are structured to be flexible to meet the differing requirements of their diverse client base and have a focus on global delivery through four key service lines:

  • Competency Solutions (Consultancy)
  • Technical Skills Training
  • Fire, Safety and Survival Training
  • Emergency Response and Crisis Management
  • Consultancy and Training

At this exhibition they will focus on Competency Solutions (development of the workforce in line with corporate strategy, business objectives and (inter)national regulations) and the SkillsXP software: one solution for management of workforce competencies, assessments, training and development plans.

POMMEC TDE BV will launch their brand new LARS Lite Compact. This is a new compact design of the already widely known, and successful, LARS Lite. This two-diver Launch and Recovery System offers an even smaller footprint than the LARS Lite, with a footprint of approximately 2×2 meter thus earning its name ‘Compact’.

The LARS Lite Compact is designed as a solution for situations where the minimum of deck space is available and maximum performance is needed. It has the same extensive range of features available on the LARS Lite and other Launch and Recovery systems available at Pommec BV, e.g. remote control, extensive use of high quality components, stainless steel, etc. The LARS Lite and the Lite Compact have winches mounted on top of the A-frame and can be folded completely, giving compact transport sizes. They will also be featuring different Launch and Recovery systems, Decompression chambers, Containerised dive control systems, and Dive control panels etc.

All Pommec’s products (Deck Decompression Chambers, Containerized Control Rooms, etc.) follow the IMCA, Lloyd’s, ABS and DNV guidelines. All the important systems are covered by Design Appraisal Documents. Their systems are recognized being among the most advanced and safest systems available on the market today. Pommec, founded in 1978, is based in the Netherlands, next to the Belgium border.

VERIPOS will be highlighting their range of products which includes LD5 and LD6 GNSS receivers and the newly launched Verify-Axiom system which integrates INS (Inertial Navigation System) with GNSS to provide continuity of high accuracy positioning during periods of satellite outage due to interference or natural phenomenon. Their featured exhibits are of use to DP vessel operators and offshore surveyors.

They have attended the IMCA Annual Seminar for more than 10 years now.”The reason we come is it gives us the opportunity to meet many of our customers and discuss and better understand their requirements in an informal atmosphere,” explains Chief Executive Officer, Walter Steedman.”Whilst we are not presenting a technical paper this year, we have done so in the past and believe that it is a great opportunity to raise the profile on issues and solutions in a knowledgeable forum. Participation in work groups is also very useful.”

Veripos successfully listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange on 26 July following spin-off from Subsea 7. It is now a completely separate company with approximately 125 personnel operating from 11 locations around the world including major facilities in Aberdeen, Singapore, Houston and Rio das Ostras in Brazil. The company has launched a number of new products and services during the last year and has plans for more in the future.

Further information
Further information on all aspects of the IMCA Annual Seminar is available online at and from [email protected]