By Jack Whibley, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Navalshore Marintec South America Shipbuilding and Offshore Industries Exhibition and Conference returns to Rio this week and is expected to welcome more than 16,000 visitors between Tuesday, August 13th and Thursday, August 15th to the Sul America Convention Center in Cidade Nova, Centro Rio.
The conference, which is in its 10th year, is described by organizers as a strategic event for the maritime supply chain in Brazil, and provides opportunities for networking with an audience of maritime and offshore professionals.
The Navalshore Marintec has two components this year: an exhibition at which companies promote their products and services; and a conference program comprising presentations, and panel discussions with industry experts. Topics on the program range from targeting management improvement, to production strategies in the shipbuilding and offshore industries.
Visitors to the conference have access to key decision makers involved in the purchasing of new products services, such as project designers, engineers, operations managers, and purchasing directors. Carlos Boeckh, commercial director of Wilson Sons Shipyards hoped to get an update what is going on in the business at the conference. He planned to “meet people [and get to] know the news and plans.”
Last year’s event saw more than 16,000 visitors from forty countries pass through five international pavilions to view 350 exhibitors from Brazil and abroad. The Ninth edition also attracted participation from 86 percent of Brazil’s shipyards across ten different Brazilian states.
Key sectors that will be represented at this year’s Navalshore conference are shipyards, shipbuilders, ocean shipping lines, port support companies, consultants and maritime authorities. Leaders in the field of logistics management, IT, insurance, and inspection are also expected to attend.
Exhibitors at the conference will be keen to make the most of the networking opportunities available given projections for the future of the offshore sector. Brazil’s national union for the offshore and maritime industry (Sinaval), predicts investment of up to US$90 billion in the sector by 2020.
By 2016, 100,000 job opportunities are expected to be created and this number would be multiplied four-fold if the projection were to include jobs in subsidiary sectors for equipment and services, according to Sinaval.
However, not everyone is as confident about the future of the market in South America: “Although the market is positive, the confidence on what is planned is low and this uncertainty makes the market move more carefully and slow,” Mr. Boeckh told The Rio Times.
The level of investment will also rely on Petrobras meeting its investment program. As reported in O Globo on Monday, August 12th, Petrobras is negotiating with the Brazilian government over a potential increase in gasoline and diesel prices. It says that, without an increase, it will need to increase its debt to meet its investment program.
Ports in Brazil were expecting to handle a billion tons of cargo for the first time in 2012, according to estimates by ANTAQ, Brazil’s National Agency for Waterway Transportation. The figure represents 12.3 percent more than in 2011, with Rio de Janeiro State set to take the top spot from neighboring Espírito Santo.
Since 2009, the percentage of ships arriving in Rio’s Guanabara Bay has increased by 146 percent, according to the Companhia Docas (Dock Company) in 2012. The port authority believes this year’s maritime traffic will be even higher, drawing some concern from environmentalists.