The FUJCON 2017 forum has just closed in Fujairah (29th March). The event was attended by well over 250 delegates and attracted some influential speakers. The theme was “Driving Transformation across the supply chain” but the topics that got the most attention from the floor were the attitude of owners to the decision on scrubbers, the importance of Annex VI non-compliance penalties being high enough to encourage ships not to “cheat”, the difficulty of effective enforcement of the new global cap and the way that some cargo interests/charterers are suggesting they will insist on particular ship technologies to reduce SOx, NOx and CO2 after 2020.
Panel sessions on ship operation and fuel quality and operational exigencies saw some very lively debate. Maybe the organisers were right to keep the “heavyweights” at opposite sides of the platform. There was also some informed debate in the legal session on the different stance being taken on the supplier’s rights to ship arrest in various jurisdictions, with claims that the UAE is out of step with the mainstream opinions.
The keynote speakers (Dr Fesharaki and Christopher Bake) agreed that whilst the demand for fuel is rising, the demand rise is concentrated in the Middle East and Asia and that the spare refining capacity will start to disappear by 2020. Dr Fesharaki also expected the Far East LNG pricing to become less linked to crude and more linked to spot LNG prices, and this will help LNG economics.
IBIA was well represented by many of our members with Board member Nigel Draffin and Board member elect Martin Laue Brodersen taking part as speakers in two of the panel sessions. Other IBIA members speaking on the panels included Rakesh Sharma, Cem Saral, Dimitris Mertikas, Capt Mousa Morad, John Gilligan, Vivek Vijayaraghavan and Usman Muhammad, among others.
The hospitality and networking was good and the only shock to the system was the news that the Fujairah Hilton was to close on 31st March. When I first visited Fujairah, it was the only hotel in town!
Report by Nigel Draffin
A comprehensive report from FUJCON will appear in the summer edition of World Bunkering.