Saudi Maritime Congress concludes with compelling discussions on energy transition, disruptive technologies and education

The third edition of the Saudi Maritime Congress, the Kingdom’s largest and most important maritime event concluded yesterday at the Dhahran Expo in Dammam. Day two had a power-packed lineup of speakers highlighting pressing topics that will define the future of the sector and further the agenda of Saudi Vision 2030.

Leading technology providers discussed the latest technological advancements in the industry and how ship owners and suppliers can harness the benefit. As part of the Maximise asset performance with big data and analytics panel, speakers highlighted the significance of data analysis and how ports, owners, operators and suppliers can reap the benefits of trend analysis, data depth and scenario forecasting.

Pankaj Kankan, CCO and COO Svitzer AMEA “In the past decade, Saudi Arabia has made significant investments in the development of its state-of-the-art port facilities. The Kingdom has one of the largest coastlines across the globe, and is by far one of the most significant trade hubs worldwide due to its strategic location. With about 20 ports and terminals built in the nation, the maritime industry contributes greatly to its economy. Therefore, it is an absolute must to safeguard the interest of the sector and ensure its continued progress by supporting and being a part of strategic events like Saudi Maritime Congress. We are now keen on investing in the Kingdom, and look forward to utilising our expertise in localisation, sustainability, and efficient and safe port management. We also firmly believe in the power of digitalisation and enhanced automation, and are collaborating with several industry partners to ensure a safe and profitable future for the sector.

Accelerating shipping’s energy transition

With a broadening decarbonisation mandate across industries, the maritime industry aims to play an increasingly important role in the decarbonisation of supply chains by devising effective solutions to mitigate the impacts across the whole supply chain. The Decarbonisation and the fuel revolution to 2050 panel featured expert views on the meaningful emission reduction through optimisation of existing assets, why zero-emission shipping will require the production and scaling of low-carbon fuels as part of the broader energy transition, best alternatives to create a sustainable pathway for the sector and the progress of the Kingdom in this regard.

Xavier Eiglier, Senior Vice President CMA CGM – Head of Dubai Regional Office (Middle East Gulf, Indian Sub-Continent, Indian Ocean Islands, Southern & Eastern Africa, CMA CGM said: “There is no doubt that Saudi Maritime Congress constitutes an exceptional opportunity to build on the IMO’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and greenhouse gases resulting from shipping operations. We, at CMA CGM, believe in the conference’s effective role in drawing up new initiatives for the maritime sector in the region and the world. In our commitment to accelerate our energy transition and achieve net-zero carbon by 2050, there is a lot of work to do, and we are keen to contribute to the development of the maritime sector system in a way that enhances the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.”

Adapting to the industry’s evolution

One of the high points was the Developing and training the maritime workforce session that discussed how the industry’s evolution changes impact education and training needs and facilities, the need to maximise the opportunities to fill the workforce gap in the Kingdom and the progress in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 nationalisation plans.

Eithne Treanor, Managing Director, E Treanor Media said: “The maritime sector in Saudi Arabia is changing rapidly and it’s now become imperative to promptly adapt to new technologies. Top of the agenda will be decarbonisation efforts, and the sector must be up-to-date about digitisation especially with the advent of automation. These developments are impacting the current education and training needs globally and particularly here in the Kingdom. It’s encouraging to see industry professionals stepping up and focusing on re-skilling and up-skilling to better prepare for the future. This is also driving educational institutions to re-think and elevate their courses and align with these trends. That’s an exciting and dynamic development here in the Kingdom that will ensure sustainable success.”

Chris Morley, Group Director – Maritime Events, Informa Markets said: “The ambition and vision in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been developing at pace for some time but the post-pandemic acceleration of innovation and growth, especially in the Maritime & Logistics sectors, has been unprecedented. Seatrade Maritime’s role to facilitate business opportunities in line with that growth has been realised through this edition of Saudi Maritime Congress. With the support of our partners and sponsors, we have been able to deliver tangible value for thousands of maritime and logistics professionals and we can’t wait for Saudi Maritime Congress 2023.”

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