INMEX INDIA still rides high
INMEX INDIA, though not at its best, continues on its success path
Having withstood the test of time for over a decade, INMEX INDIA considered to have successfully consolidated and grown, was however, not able to effectively buck the downturn this year. The event now being held since 8 October to culminate tomorrow, has shown signs of setbacks in the form of the dwindling number of participants at the conference - which was free, and the number of exhibitors who have remained almost the same. But comparatively the event can still very well fit the claim of being South Asia’s largest and most successful maritime event.
The INMEX INDIA 2013 presents exhibits of over 550 participating companies from 35 countries including seven country pavilions from Holland, Norway, Korea, Singapore and China among others. The products and solutions showcased at the event include dredging, marine equipment, marine offshore technology, ocean engineering, port equipment, port technology, ship repair, Marine telecommunications and navigational equipment, shipbuilding and underwater robotics among others.
Organized by Informa Exhibitions India, one of the leading global exhibition organiser, part of the UK based INFORMA plc group,INMEX INDIA is supported by the Ministry of Shipping, Government of India and several important maritime associations from within India and abroad. Inaugurating the event Capt Arun Sharma, CMD, Indian Register of Shipping
The conference highlighted different facets of the maritime sector. The session on “Shipping Prospects” considered almost every aspect that could be visualized for revitalizing India’s stagnant shipping market and the importance of lending support to shipping through forecasting requirements and operating creatively.
“Buying a ship today does not bring good returns,” pointed out Ravi K. Mehrotra, Executive Chairman of Foresight. “But on long term basis, ship owners need to keep their vessel young to be ready for the market when the turnaround comes.” He contended that wars are known to give a fillip to the shipping trade. But the economic stagnation is expected to last till 2015.
For revitalizing shipping, government should focus on the offshore stated Vice Admiral SKK Krishnan, former Chairman of Mazagon Dock. Dredging was another facet that also could play a major part. He wanted the government to take up the deepening of approach channels of the ports which could boost dredger building activity and with increased draft bigger vessels could call at the ports.
Capt Kapil Kekre, Advisor- Commercial of the Indian National Shipowners’ Association maintained that there was plenty of scope for ship owners to carry crude oil, that too over long distances. Advance planning of voyages for carrying crude will help both the ship owners and the consumer he maintained.
With regard steel and coal there were deliberations on the forecast demand and ship requirements for steel and the Indian thermal coal imports and handling facility requirements. India ranked 4 in steel production and is likely to rise to the second position. The steel industry was facing raw material shortage, scarcity of water, land and environmental issues. Though India has plenty of coal but it was not suitable for steel production and hence has to be imported.
In order to give a boost to the ship building sector the Indian Navy has been sourcing their requirement from the private ship builders. Commodore Aseem Anand, Principal Director of the Indian Navy spoke on “The Indigenization of the Indian Navy”. He explained about the requirements of the navy and what it expected suppliers to fulfill, the details which suppliers need to pay attention to, the terms and conditions, etc. The navy is in the process of procuring large number of vessels and various crafts.
Presenting the effective approach and execution in ship repairs, retrofitting and conversions, Akshay Jain, CEO of Vedam Design cautioned that instead of directly going for repairs work it is better to undertake a survey of the ship to the extent of the repairs to be under taken first. It is very important to carefully select the ship repair yard and make a comparison of the cost, capability and the technical advantages. He brought out all these aspects by taking up two case studies.
Speaking on the shipping survival techniques for prolonged down cycles, Dr Anil Sharma, President & CEO of GMS highlighted the important aspect of pricing for ship recycling and the prevailing rate in India. These were dependent on the supply and demand as well as the price of steel and currency exchange rates. “Ship recycling is a strong pillar of ship building and impacts new building orders,” he said. “In fact Chinese shipyards asks cash buyers what the value of the ships were over the past 20 years.”
The session on “Ways to meet new environmental requirements” turned out to evoke plenty of interest. There were Akshay Jain of Vedam, Pankaj Misra, Dy GM of Wartsila India and Sanjeev Sinha, Dy GM of MAN Diesel & Turbo India Ltd on hand to explain the important aspects. According to Mr Sinha, India will be the second largest importer of gas by 2020. He focused on the new design equipment such as Kappel propeller which was MAN’s answer for meeting the new environmental standards.
Mr Jain on the other hand informed about the development of CNG propelled tanker which Vedam had designed and developed for a Nigerian company. “There are other innovations which we have come up for other countries but interestingly there was hardly any demand from India. He felt that the reason being non availability of funds to ship owners in India as exists in Europe and other countries.
This year’s edition saw an unprecedented number of footfalls clearly indicating that the visitors have been enthralled to witness wide range of products and solutions offered by companies. An exceptional feature was the large number of participants who could network and gain technical insights. A unique feature was the B2B meetings besides the buyer networking programs.