The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) held its 23rd Annual Dinner on 8 February at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.
Heralding the beginning of International Petroleum week, the prestigious event attracted a record number of attendees, with over 1100 bunker industry professionals at the dinner, despite the gloomy state of the industry.
Chairman elect Robin Meech opened the event by acknowledging that the last year has been a period of dramatic change, with global trade slowing, along with global bunker demand.
Mr Meech went on to outline some of the association’s key achievements over the last year. IBIA has grown significantly in both membership and influence.
IBIA represents members’ interests at the International Maritime Organisation, sharing both practical considerations and industry perspectives on the introduction of the 0.50% global sulphur cap. IBIA believes that if it were to be introduced in 2020, there would not be sufficient compliant fuel to meet industry demand. Such a move would lead to extreme price differentials and low levels of compliance, with those companies that were compliant operating at at much higher costs than less scrupulous operators.
IBIA works closely with other industry organisations including INTERTANKO, INTERCARGO and the International Chamber of Shipping to improve understanding of bunker quality issues while striving to avoid over-regulation and poor returns for professional suppliers. The association’s new office in central London is also alongside the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel, strengthening the associations’ influence in the growing LNG bunker market.
Finally, Mr Meech announced that managing carbon emissions, education and raising industry standards would be the key concerns for his forthcoming term of office, as well as the members’ recent industry wide call for higher ethical standards.
IBIA is also pushing to harmonise, and where applicable improve, bunkering facilities at ports around the world. Peter Hall, IBIA chief executive and members of the IBIA board, met with top executives from six of the world’s larger ports – the Port of Singapore, the Port of Gibraltar, the Port of Rotterdam, Malta/IHMA, the Port of Algeciras, the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and a representative for West African ports – during IP Week, to discuss closer working and the development of common practices as part of IBIA’s global Port Charter. This follows on from the IBIA Forum held in Mauritius in 2015, in conjunction with the government to explore the development of the island nation as a bunker hub, an initiative which will be repeated in 2016, in Ghana.
Looking forward, IBIA is keen to support membership growth and to increase engagement, encouraging members to share their collective knowledge by joining one of the associations’ working groups. These groups are key to ensuring that IBIA remains the truly balanced voice of the industry, with the association’s balance and breadth of membership giving it credibility on both a national and international stage.
To see the pictures of the evening, click here. (password: IBIAGHH )