SMM 2012 Outcome

The 25th shipbuilding, machinery & marine technology international trade fair hamburg ended on 7 September, after four days of action with 2,100 exhibitors and more than 50,000 trade visitors, including numerous international delegations and representatives from government and the scientific community – the most successful SMM yet. 

“We are of course delighted that our anniversary event met with such a fantastic response,” said Bernd Aufderheide, President and CEO of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH (HMC), adding that the high level of interest showed how important it is, especially in times of economic difficulty, to exchange ideas, to present products and services, and to highlight innovations. “SMM is the ideal platform for that,” he said. “SMM has set clear signals for the future, and has completely met the expectations of the industry as the leading trade fair for the maritime industry. Good business was done at SMM. Our customers took orders for new ships and for marine equipment.”

The largest group of visitors was from shipowners and shipping companies, followed by the shipbuilding and shipyard industry, and machinery and plant builders. The naval and defence industry moved up to fourth position. SMM 2012 had 35% of its trade visitors from abroad, up two percentage points from the previous SMM. The share of Asian visitors was double the number at SMM 2010, now 16%.

The shipowners see SMM as a unique opportunity to keep up with the latest state of the art, at a dedicated event. “Rising fuel prices have always been an incentive for efficient propulsion systems and smart ship design. But today, the general objective is to make shipping as clean as possible. These innovations are driven by tougher environmental standards, and also the desire of many shipowners to use green technologies,” said Michael Behrendt, President of the German Shipowners’ Association (VDR) and CEO of Hapag-Lloyd.

“It was clearly evident at SMM 2012 that the shipowners have to invest in a green future, more than ever before. Everywhere in the maritime business and industry there are new products and processes, aimed at increasing energy efficiency and reducing emissions – for individual ships and for whole fleets,” observed Torsten Schramm, Chief Operating Officer at Germanischer Lloyd and gmec Chairman.

Reduction in fuel consumption also means reduction in emissions. To comply with the new international regulations (“Tier 3”), the industry will also have to get nitrogen oxides and sulphur under control. “LNG was a much discussed subject at this SMM. MTU is among the companies investing in the development of LNG engines for mobile operation, and examining what the market needs,” said Christos Ramnialis, Executive Vice President for Engines and Propulsion Systems at MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH.

Tor E. Svensen, President of Norwegian classification society DNV, confirmed that LNG was the preferred option specifically for smaller ship types operating in ECAs (Emission Control Areas).

Ballast water management is another subject of vital interest to the industry. Companies like Alfa Laval, RWO and Mahle have designed solutions which enable shipowners to meet the future IMO requirements. Within just a few years, tens of thousands of ships worldwide will need retrofitting. “SMM is the ideal place for customers to find out what the market has to offer,” said Peter Scholz, Sales Manager Shipping at Mahle Industry.

Security and defence was an integrated part of SMM 2012 – MS&D, the International Conference on Maritime Security and Defence, was held on the occasion of SMM, attracting high-ranking navy representatives to Hamburg. That was a real benefit for companies such as Lürssen shipyard. “The combination of SMM and MS&D is ideal for us,” said Sales Manager Jörg Ahrens. The shipyard had prepared its stand specifically to appeal to navy customers. An exhibit that was particularly attractive to navy delegations was a new design of patrol boat, which features smart combination of civil and military standards, and can thus be built more quickly and at lower cost.

New exhibitor LexGabinia presented a sophisticated system for protection against pirates. Its CEO Sven Fürus was very pleased with the placement of the company in the new Hall B8, with its focus on security. “The response was extremely positive,” he said.

More than 30 countries presented their activities in national pavilions. “We are making a joint presentation here in a national pavilion under the patronage of the General Secretariat of Istanbul Exporters”, said Savas Cap of Sefine Shipyard, a Turkish builder. “That gives us more visibility, and makes it easier for us to meet customers and suppliers from the marine equipment industry.” He noted that repair orders are currently a main focus of Turkish shipbuilders.

SMM has a varied supporting programme, with some 150 conferences, meetings, workshops and receptions. The four high-powered international conferences on the key subjects of the industry were well attended throughout, giving rise to lively and fruitful discussions, and putting forward possible solutions for the pressing issues of the maritime industry.

The first of these events was the SMM Ship Finance Forum on the day before SMM, with some 150 participants, including numerous shipowners from Germany and abroad, with animated discussions of alternative financing possibilities under the heading of “Tomorrow’s Champions”.

The integration into SMM of MS&D, international conference on maritime security and defence hamburg, proved to be the right step for the maritime industry, showing the way forward. There were some 250 international participants, including 14 military delegations from Asia, Africa, Europe and South America; they used the conference for exchanges of knowledge, and they used SMM to get direct information on the technical aspects. see MS&D Closing Report

Interest in the SMM Offshore Dialogue, addressing Offshore Oil & Gas and Offshore Wind, was particularly strong, with a total of 450 participants. It featured eminent speakers and excellent panel discussions, leading to controversial but constructive discussions. The SMM Offshore Dialogue was supported by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

Source: SMM

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