IMCA annual seminar is a record-breaking success

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On 6-7 November, a record breaking 480 delegates from 31 countries attended the 2013 IMCA Annual Seminar – Addressing the challenges of new frontiers – at the Shangri-La hotel, Singapore.

IMCA annual seminar 2013 - New Frontiers
IMCA annual seminar 2013 – New Frontiers

The event was a storming success with a wide range of presentations from those at the forefront of the industry, workshops, networking events and an exhibition with 33 exhibitors. Backing from 4 sponsors and 12 endorsing organisations ensured the quality of the programme was greater than ever before.

There was a sense of anticipation as guests gathered on the evening prior to the sold-out seminar to enjoy a registration drinks reception and browse the exhibition, also IMCA’s biggest to date. Jane Bugler, IMCA Technical Director, got the seminar underway by welcoming everyone before introducing the first day’s Chairman, IMCA Asia-Pacific Section Chairman, Steve MacMillan of McDermott International. Guest of honour Mrs Josephine Teo, Republic of Singapore Senior Minister of State; Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Transport, went on to give a welcoming address identifying Asia and Singapore as a region of opportunities for the offshore marine industry.

Massimo Fontolan, Josephine Teo, Jane Bugler and Mike Meade
Massimo Fontolan, Josephine Teo, Jane Bugler and Mike Meade

Keynote speakers, IMCA President, Massimo Fontolan of Saipem, and Sean Salter of Woodside Energy, launched the IMCA vision & strategy for 2014 -2019 and discussed future challenges respectively, before taking part in a panel discussion fielding questions which had arisen from the presentations.

Stimulating plenary session presentations followed on the topics of; mutual aid in large-scale offshore incidents, from Tore Ulleberg, OGP Representative of ConocoPhillips; when things go wrong in offshore construction disputes, from Glenn Kangisser of Curtis Davis Garrard LLP; and risk assessment of malaria offshore, from Patrick Besnard of Subsea 7.

Delegates then had the choice of three presentation sessions, focused on technical specifications and industry good practice in their area of interest: diving, marine or ROV & offshore survey.

Various issues were addressed in the 5 concurrently held workshops which followed. Those on the provision of armed guards, led by Nigel Hope of Technip, and issues around dealing with local content requirements, led by Kevin Slade from Northern Marine Manning Services, were particularly popular.

At the end of the first day’s technical programme guests enjoyed a trip to Sentosa Island for a tour of S.E.A. aquarium, canapes and a gala dinner at Universal Studios Singapore.

Opening drinks reception
Opening drinks reception

IMCA Asia-Pacific Section Vice-Chairman, Des Power of EMAS AMC, chaired day two and the morning plenary session was kicked off with presentations on; the challenges of performing environmental surveys at great depth, from Seamus Whyte of Fugro EMU Ltd; deep-water lowering, from Kees van Zandwijk of Heerema Marine Contractors; and the impact of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) on marine contracting, from Pierre Deletaille of Swire Pacific Offshore.

Following lunch there was a session which included presentations on synthetics in a controversial market, from Joost van Ree of Endenburg B.V., and marine contracting in challenging environments, from Bionda van Roosendaal of Heerema Marine Contractors.

The seminar concluded with a final round of workshops covering themes including DP incident reporting, technical competence of ROV & offshore personnel and the MLC. Following summary remarks from Des Power, Jane Bugler closed the seminar thanking all those involved in the event.

Claudine Bleza, Michelle Salway, Gordon Kelly and Emily Comyn from the IMCA team
Claudine Bleza, Michelle Salway, Gordon Kelly and Emily Comyn from the IMCA team

The event was wrapped up in style with the Apres Seminar Soiree at the Pump Room micro brewery and bistro, with entertainment enjoyed by all attendees.

Although IMCA Chief Executive, Chris Charman, was extremely disappointed to miss his first annual seminar, due to an unforeseen back problem which required surgery, he was delighted at the success of the event.