A record attendance of more than 250 delegates is expected by Vimla Mulchand, chief organizer of the 7th Fujairah Bunkering and Fuel Oil Forum (FUJCON) to be held in Fujairah this week.
At a Press Conference prior to the conference Vimla stated that there were would be more countries represented this year and among the countries to be waving their flags are Iraq, Gibraltar and Russia.
Vimla, who has organized all seven of the Fujairah conferences, said that this year’s conference will be notable for the way it is attracting people from Europe and the Mediterranean, not just from the traditionally supportive regions of the GCC and Asian countries.
Some companies are sending large teams to Fujairah in order to be fully updated on current trends in the oil bunkering business.
Courses and Conference
The conference is not all a matter of cocktails, coffee and cashews. Many have arrived in advance of the large gathering to participate in three courses on ‘Crude to Bunkering’, ‘Bunker Fuel Blending’ and an ‘Introduction to Bunkering’.
The main conference which gets underway on Monday evening at the Siji Hotel will run until Wednesday evening and includes important receptions (over which valuable deals are struck), keynote addresses by local and international experts, Q & As and a visit offshore to view the changes at the Fujairah anchorage.
Unrest in the Region
When asked how the unrest and protesting in oil producing countries such as Libya, Yemen and Saudi Arabia might affect the conference programme and bunkering generally in Fujairah, Dr Mohammad Saeed Al Kindi, the Chairman of the FUJCON Steering Committee said it would have little influence. “There are high oil prices but the shortages will be filled and this will have little impact on the bunkering industry.”
Marketing manager at the Fujairah Port, John Mittlestein added, “Bunkering is about the carriage of oil and it will continue to move despite the unrest and rising prices.”
When asked how much the conference will highlight a care for the environment as the oil industry grows in Fujairah, Captain Mousa Murad, the General Manager of the Port of Fujairah said, “Environmental concerns are extremely important to us and as an indication of this Fujairah is a signatory to the MARPOL protocol and we have implemented many of its requirements many years prior to the agreed dates.”
Vimla Mulchand added that the conference programme includes at least three addresses on environmental issues including addresses on Sulphur Emissions, Environmental Cover and Pollution Response, The Use of Fuel to Reduce Emissions and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading for Shipping.
Spotlight on Fujairah
The international conference will have a Fujairah flavour because of its location and it will be an important time to showcase the city’s strategic and service advantages as one of the world’s top bunkering locations.
The conference this year is happening at a time when huge foreign investment in Fujairah is increasing as well as the expansion of the Port to add further oil berths and extend its quay.
The new Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline, which becomes fully operational this year, will transport 1 to 1.5 million barrels per day to the growing storage facilities in Fujairah.
The spotlight this week will shine on the transformation of Fujairah into a global oil hub and the implications of this growth for other industries in the emirate.
This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.
Images: From top to bottom—Dr Mohammad Saeed Al Kindi, the Chairman of the FUJCON Steering Committee; Marketing manager at the Fujairah Port, John Mittlestein; Captain Mousa Murad, the General Manager of the Port of Fujairah; Ms. Vimla Mulchand, Managing Director, The Conference Connection Inc.