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New IMCA President for a new year

Published on 30 January 2013

Biennial changes at the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) see Massimo Fontolan of Saipem taking on the role of President of IMCA, the association representing the interests of nearly 900 offshore, marine and underwater engineering companies in over 60 countries.

Massimo Fontolan is currently Vice President Commercial, North Atlantic and Arctic at Saipem Ltd. In addition to becoming President of IMCA, he also becomes Chairman of the association’s Overall Management Committee (OMC), having served as Vice President of IMCA for the past two years.

“We are delighted to welcome Massimo as our President and OMC Chairman for the next two years,” says Chris Charman, Chief Executive of IMCA. “Massimo has a comprehensive role at Saipem, where he is responsible for the development and implementation of strategic business plans in the subsea, fixed facilities and offshore wind farm markets. In addition he analyses acquisition targets and potential industrial partners, with the result that he is extraordinarily well qualified to be our President. I am greatly looking forward to working with him, and our new Vice President who will come from Technip.”

Massimo Fontolan

“First, special thanks go to Hugh Williams, who has been the heart and soul of our organisation for the past ten years, and whose invaluable experience Chris and I, above all, will miss,” says Massimo Fontolan. “I am honoured and humbled to take on the Presidential role, for all my predecessors are icons in our industry, representing the top tiers of the whole supply chain. They had a vision and indeed succeded in making IMCA what is today, a global trade association recognised as the one which best represents the interests of the marine contracting, for the benefit of all member companies.

“We shall strive to strengthen IMCA’s relevance and value as a trade association, pursing the interests of its members as well as its own sustainable position in the marketplace, ” he adds. ” The challenge is to provide a vision for the years ahead and to this end we will shortly be engaging in defining a five year plan for the association.”

Massimo Fontolan takes over the role of President and Chairman from his good friend Andy Woolgar of Subsea 7. “I know that both Massimo, and my predecessor, Hugh Williams, would like to pay tribute to Andy Woolgar’s hard work on behalf of IMCA,” says Chris Charman. “The association continued its steady growth and internationalisation during his two year tenure.”

About the new President Massimo Fontolan is a Civil Engineer with a degree in hydromechanics and quick to point out the important experience he has gained from two of the “most important management schools” as an ex-rugby player and a keen sailor.

His career began with Tecnomare S.P.A. in 1983 in his native Venice; he worked in marine technologies with them until 1999. In 2000 he joined Sonsub, part of the Saipem Group, working as Managing Director in Aberdeen, Stavanger, Venice. He took on his current role at Saipem Ltd in 2010.

He has three industrial patents to his name – trenching methods (as actually realised and operated on the Kashagan project) and pipeline repair methods.

In a distinguished career he lists five signature projects:

  • Blue Stream: converting Sonsub from a ROV service company into a provider of subsea services to assist Saipem’s largest and deepest subsea pipeline project across the Black Sea, involving new purposely developed assets (ROV, Robotic Tools and Trenching systems) subsea construction vessels, and managing a brand new suite of services and skills.
  • Prestige Oil Recovery: the deepest (3840 m) intervention on a wreck to recover the cargo for a tanker sunk in the Atlantic, using a combination of innovation, advanced technologies and imagination.
  • Kashagan field development: deep burial of rigid and flexible lines in the ultra-shallow water of the northern Caspian Sea, thanks to the industrial application of innovative methods, assets and technology, from concept to operations.
  • SIRCOS pipeline repair system: development of a complete diverless system established as the only wholly diverless repair club for trunkline, operated and managed on behalf of major international clients.
  • Trans Mediterranean pipeline repair: fast track repair of the gas transportation system between Tunisia and Italy, concluded in 8 months from damage to gas flow.