Maritime Know-How in Demand for Offshore Wind Energy and Oil & Gas Production

Maritime Know-How in Demand for Offshore Wind Energy and Oil & Gas Production

The offshore segment is one of the most promising fields of activity for the maritime industry ‑ with the main focus on provision of hardware and services both for wind energy as a growth market and for the boom sector of offshore oil and gas production.

The technical challenges and economic opportunities will be addressed by the expert panels at SMM Offshore Dialogue on 6 September at SMM 2012, shipbuilding, machinery & marine technology international trade fair hamburg, at the Hamburg Fair site. This leading industry event on the occasion of the world’s premier maritime industry fair is expected to attract more than 500 international experts.

 Sophisticated projects

The complexity of offshore energy production is increasing. The rise in oil prices means that exploration and development of hard-to-access offshore deposits in ultra deep sea areas is becoming increasingly worthwhile, and is attracting major investments by oil and gas production companies. “Increasing expectations of more demand for crude oil and a continuing high price level lead us to expect double-digit growth rates in expenditures in offshore exploration and production,” says Ralf Bedranowsky, Global Head of DB Shipping, the ship financing unit of Deutsche Bank. The know-how of the maritime industry is needed here – with new supply vessels, platforms, drilling ships and equipment, and engineering services.

The same also applies to the offshore wind energy sector. Europe, and in particular the UK, have a key role to play here. According to figures from the EWEA (European Wind Energy Association), a total of 1,371 turbines were on stream in the whole of Europe at the end of 2011 with installed power rating of 3.8 GW. Another 18 projects which are currently in progress will increase capacity to 9 GW. Approvals have been granted in a total of twelve European countries for a further 18 GW. That opens up enormous business fields for the maritime sector, for example in laying foundations, building transformer stations, installation and maintenance of turbines, and laying marine cables. The shipbuilding and marine equipment industries are well placed in these activities thanks to their existing expertise.

The close connections between these two segments will in future be given particular attention by Hamburg Messe und Congress (HMC). “Right after the next SMM, in September 2014, a new event will be held on the Hamburg Fair site, that is WindEnergy Hamburg, the global on- & offshore expo,” says Peter Bergleiter, Divisional Manager at HMC. That gives tremendous synergy effects for exhibitors and trade visitors.

 Special show on offshore technologies

The fascination of the deep sea – a special show on offshore technologies will be held in the framework of SMM 2012 in the South Foyer, presenting the latest development projects. It features leading research institutes and companies with presentation of their latest exhibits, films and animations – an easy-access way of getting additional information on expeditions and the range of scientific work.

For example, the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research shows models of the Polarstern, a research ship with a distinguished history, and of the Antarctic research station Neumayer III. MARUM Bremen gives information on the seabed drilling system MARUM-MeBo, a remote-controlled robot system which is lowered to a depth of 2,000 metres to drill up to 70 metres into loose sediment and solid rock. GEOMAR, the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, gives a live presentation of four underwater vehicles: ABYSS, Float, Glider and OBS, and also presents a 3D globe. HYDROMOD presents a useful result of deep-sea research and mining, that is a manganese node.

The “Fascinating Offshore” exhibition by the OFFSHORE WINDENERGIE Foundation has a range of exhibits, multi-media presentations and audio-visual presentations explaining in an instructive but entertaining way the future technology of energy generating offshore.

 Attractive supporting programme

Alongside the special show and the SMM Offshore Dialogue, SMM 2012 also has further focal areas, known as “premium events”: gmec, global maritime environmental congress, is an integrated part of the SMM supporting programme for the second time. The Ship Finance Forum will be held for the fourth time, hosted jointly by HMC and Financial Times Deutschland on the day before the start of SMM. MS&D, international conference on maritime security and defence hamburg, opens up another attractive and exciting range of topics.

Making product presentations, seeing innovations, meeting new customers, cultivating business relations, closing deals – SMM, to be held for the 25th time this year, is the leading event of the international maritime industries. Over 2,000 exhibitors from more than 60 countries are expected at SMM 2012. There will be more than 50,000 trade visitors from all parts of the world, and the supporting programme comprises more than 150 programme items.


Offshore WIND staff, June 14, 2012; Image: smm-hamburg