IBIA Africa in Mauritius and looking into the future
Working with our members to further grow and develop the African Bunkering Market
As I write this article we enter into a new phase of the pandemic globally where we are seeing more face-to-face events while some countries grapple with rising infection rates and others experience a reduction in cases. There is a worldwide acceptance of an ever-changing future. Thankfully due to modern medicine the risks are lower and therefore we now have the ability to plan just that little bit more into the future.
The Africa team have just returned from a very successful conference organised by the Mauritius Ports Authority (MPA) Fostering Bunkering Opportunities – MPA Vision 2040 in collaboration with IBIA and our partners in Mauritius, CELERO which was held on November 18 at the Ravenala Attitude hotel in Balaclava.
The attendees were welcomed by the Honourable Steven Louis Obeegadoo Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Housing and Land Use planning, and Minister of Tourism; Sanjeev Ghurburrun , Chairman of the Mauritius Port Authority and IBIA Africa’s Chairman, CEO of AMSOL (African Marine Solutions) Paul Maclons. During the conference several industry professionals took the floor to assess current bunkering trends, highlighting the opportunities in the industry. Investment programs, power solutions, regulations and preparations for maritime emergencies for ports were discussed by the various speakers from IBIA, MPA, EDB (Economic Development Board of Mauritius) and a number of key stakeholders.
The MPA presented all the bunkering growth opportunities in line with the ‘MPA Vision 2040’theme. “In line with the Prime Minister’s vision, we want our port to become a hub for the region and a strong and modern port looking to the future. This is my mandate as Chairman of the MPA and the mission of MPA 2040. And the role of the MPA must be to develop and get out of the country to share our know-how and develop the regional circular economy,” recalled Sanjeev Ghurburrun, Chairman of the MPA. The Chairman has invited and encouraged private sector and foreign companies to collaborate and grow with the Mauritian marine economy.
The conference was well supported with 100 delegates and an impressive group of sponsors, whom we thank on behalf the MPA, CELERO and ourselves for their unwavering support of these types of events and initiatives.
Our previous Bunker Conference and Training courses organised in 2015 and 2018 by ourselves and CELERO contributed to improving the skills and knowledge of the Bunker stakeholders with the common objective to set Port Louis as a preferred Bunkering Hub.
CELERO is a leading regional Shipping Agency and Logistics company, also active in supporting Maritime related Training in Mauritius. CELERO aspires to support the Mauritius Port Authority in its 2040 vision to transform Port Louis into the regional Port of reference known for its efficiency and reliable support services.
Learning, capacity building, strengthening understanding and making connections are key components of IBIA’s ethos. This is what we aim to achieve during our Training sessions, which brings together industry expects from all over the world.
IBIA alongside CELERO and AMSOL presented a 2 day intensive bunkering training course with information rich modules covering a number of aspects in the bunkering industry. These included: Bunker market Regulations and Enforcement; elaborating how the bunker regulations were developed and how they are enforced; how effective use of formal procedures can avoid risk; a look at best practices for suppliers and buyers of VLSFO; Fuel quality and its impact on storage, treatment and use in the engine; the principles of quantity measurement including Mass Flow Metering; geopolitics and the current pandemic and the way they may influence maritime trade and ship’s fuel; the purpose, structure and application of Sales terms and ‘Maritime Emergency Preparedness and, finally, an introduction to emergency response and salvage. The courses were presented by trainers based both in Mauritius and abroad, and we thank them for their support.
In the previous issue of World Bunkering I introduced you to the newly co-opted IBIA Africa Regional Board, and in a short space of time this dynamic Board has supported me in launching a number of projects to further understand our region with the goal of delivering a truly African solution to our IBIA Africa members.
Our first project is to fully understand and map out the African Bunkering Landscape, who the key role players are in each country, what products and services are on offer and how far and wide can we eventually grow our Africa membership and therefore have stronger influence and support the industry in influencing the direction bunkering and marine energy takes on the African continent.
This is supported by a short survey which will be shared with members and industry to enquire into what it is that IBIA can do for the African Bunker Market, as we recognise there are some distinct nuances and differences from our counterparts in the Northern hemisphere.
As we come to the end of Q4 of 2021 the IBIA Africa team are looking at furthers ways of engaging directly with our members in the form of informal get-togethers, online member meetings specific and continued dialogue on regional discussion points. We encourage you to be active and participate in all our efforts at further growing IBIA in Africa.
Should any of our members wish to engage further regarding the above, you are encouraged to contact me directly.
We would like to take this moment to warmly thank our Africa Membership for your support and continued dialogue in this year and wish you all a healthy and happy festive season.
If you would like to engage with the IBIA Africa team, or become a member of IBIA, explore opportunities to be a speaker, sponsor or find out more about our local activities, engagements and events, please contact me.