Chairman’s letter for World Bunkering Q4, 2021
Dear IBIA members,
2021 is slowly coming to an end and I take this opportunity to reflect on the year that has passed.
For IBIA as an organisation, 2021 was the year where our transition towards becoming more international made some great leaps forward.
As I write this letter, two of our five regional boards are up and running and both with great success and off to a promising start. In addition, the working groups for Americas and Middle East are both established and active, and I expect that by early 2022 we can establish the interim board for Americas. So, all in all, we are on track with the IBIA organisational development.
When Covid-19 entered our lives in 2020, there was some concern from the IBIA board’s and our director’s side on how our members would respond to the challenges that we were all facing. In 2020, the Covid-19 impact on IBIA was significant and we met many challenges. However, we have since then, with a strong effort from the IBIA secretariat and the IBIA board, managed to steer the IBIA ship through the rough seas. Today, we feel that we have managed to adapt to the changing conditions. We have developed new products and services for our members and IBIA is again sailing in smoother waters.
We have left the concerns about the support from our members behind us, as during 2021 we have experienced both an increase in our membership base and a very strong support for our events, new as well as old. Something we at IBIA are both very grateful and humble about.
On behalf of the entire IBIA Board I would like to extend our gratitude to all members, both the ones who have been supporting us for a long time as well as the new ones, for the continued support to IBIA. This support confirms to us that the work that IBIA does on behalf of the bunker industry and related business adds value and that our commitment of obtaining more global reach is well received in the market. With the future transition into a more green direction, I personally believe that IBIA will be able to play an important role for the industry, as we all will need to find the ways that brings us within the objective set out for 2030 and 2050.
2021 was also the year in which IBIA rebounded on the digital and virtual platform. We have adapted and learnt how to use the new opportunities, both in terms of our more traditional membership offerings of education and conference, but also with the introduction of membership talks, where a specific topic is discussed in an open and confidential forum among members. We have all found that this has been a great way of increasing the interaction among IBIA members and an offer that supports IBIA’s ambition of creating a platform where the industry players can meet and discuss and both gain knowledge but also exchange points of view without necessarily agreeing on the way forward.
The latter will be of essential importance as the green transition will continue. We do not from IBIA see a one-product solution, but lean more towards a variety of energy solutions to serve seaborne transport in a green and sustainable way in the future. Not all of our members will need the same solution or possess the same knowledge to solve the green challenge, but all will need to be aware of the possibilities and the pros and cons of each solution. This is an area where IBIA will be able to both guide and drive the discussions on the well to wake impact of the individual green alternatives.
Even though Covid-19 is still active and we seem to be facing new challenges at present, at IBIA we have been optimistic and we aim at getting back to physical gatherings to some extent during 2022. This includes a sold-out IBIA dinner in London during IP week in February 2022.
We do hope that the conditions will allow us to meet up again and resume our traditional dinner in London and to see as many of you as possible there.
If you want even more value from your IBIA membership, I can only encourage you to reach out to any of our working groups and get engaged. It is in our working groups that you are able to both gain and add value to IBIA and be part of setting the direction for the future of same.
In addition, we encourage you to continue to stay active and participate in IBIA events, whether it is the membership talks or one of our conventions.