Bunkering event puts spotlight on Rock’s high standards
The Port of Gibraltar’s commitment to high safety and environmental standards was highlighted during an international bunkering forum this week.
Delegates discussed key international trends in the market and had a chance to see how Gibraltar suppliers operated in this busy region.
At a reception at the Top of the Rock on Wednesday evening, Port Minister Paul Balban spoke of the Gibraltar Government’s investment in port resources and manpower.
“I think you will all agree that our track record in bunkering, in terms of volume and quality of service, even in a challenging economic climate, is an indication that we must be doing something right,” Mr Balban said.
“In particular, I’d like to highlight the very close working relationship between the GPA and the wider port community in Gibraltar, which underpins our enviable performance and reputation, and makes us quite unique among our competitors.”
That message was underpinned last night at a gala dinner in St Michael’s Cave by Albert Isola, the Minister for Maritime Affairs.
Mr Isola spoke of Gibraltar’s strategic location and its role as a staging post for ships sailing through the Strait of Gibraltar.
He said the port and maritime community were not complacent and were always looking for ways to develop and grow the sector, as well as improve efficiency.
But he added that this would not be done at the expense of safety and environmental protection, or indeed quality assurance.
“When it comes to bunkering, we provide the highest levels of governance and oversight,” he said.
“We have developed a very strict code of practice…that we see other ports emulating, an indication of our very high standards.”
Gibraltar port officials hailed the International Bunkering Industry Regional Forum held in Gibraltar this week a success.
The Captain of the Port, Bob Sanguinetti, said it took a lot of work to get the forum to come to Gibraltar and was delighted to see 120 delegates attend.
He said people at the forum were “looking at development and trends in the future and how to take it forward.”
The Captain also said that the forum enforces the link the Gibraltar Port Authority has with the bunkering association on one hand and it also reaffirms the status of Gibraltar in the Mediterranean regarding bunkering.
Speaking about Gibraltar’s location, he said that the uniqueness the Rock location is one reason why bunkering here can be carried out so well.
He said: “The uniqueness by virtue of size, culture and history, means there is a close knit community to service any ship that comes into Gibraltar.”
Freddie Pitto, Group Manager at Gibunco, said: “This has been one of the best presentations on shipping we have had in Gibraltar.”
He explained that the importance of where Gibraltar is located as the gateway to the Mediterranean sea means that in forums like this Gibraltar can easily demonstrate what Gibraltar can deliver.
Robin Meech, Managing Director of Marine and Energy Consulting, was also very pleased with the success of the forum.