Industry finds its voice at EDPCTaken from: RMM Corporate news 16 June
Delegates who attended Riviera’s third annual European Dynamic Positioning Conference (EDPC) in London took part in powerful and candid discussion which will lead to profound changes in the way the industry goes about training.
Held in association with the Dynamic Positioning Centre, the conference attracted 135 delegates from 13 countries, including 34 ship operators, a 30 per cent increase on last year’s attendance. One conference chairman remarked that he could virtually circumnavigate the world just by walking across the conference room, meeting delegates from every continent and major growth markets such as Brazil, Singapore and the Middle East.
The supporting exhibition also grew substantially. Once again, it incorporated practical DP demonstrations, and was a focal point for networking and information exchange. Exhibitors welcomed the opportunity to mix with existing and prospective clients, and reported strong interest in their goods and services.
Highlighting the importance of the event, Mike Inglis, fleet operations manager for offshore shipowner Technip Marine said “The conference has evolved into a ‘must’ for attending and can now be considered a key industry event.”
Echoing this sentiment, Peter Aylott, chief operating officer at C-Mar and a director at the Dynamic Positioning Centre said: “Riviera’s conference is an excellent event which in three years has grown to equal MTS’s long standing DP conference in Houston.”
The 2011 conference built on the success of last year’s two day event. Highlights included a broadening of the programme to include increased operator participation, greater emphasis on the shuttle tanker and cruise sectors as well as an innovative roundtable session at the end of day one. This saw the conference room transformed to hold six parallel discussions, involving all attendees, and facilitated by some of the industry’s foremost specialists. These produced a list of action points for the industry which were shared at the event and a public commitment was made to take these forward with industry regulators. Next year’s conference, scheduled for June, will report on the outcomes.
Over the course of two days, the conference generated a number of ideas for improving existing training provision. An exceptional DP operator forum led to industry calls for refresher courses and a crack-down on fraudulent DP logbooks.
Discussions on failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) of DP systems also excited considerable debate. It was concluded that owners should provide more information on what should be tested during an FMEA. But there is uncertainty as to what owners should specify. The message was strong enough to persuade Peter Somner, chairman of the technical committee at International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) to raise the subject of publishing a guidance note on FMEAs at an IMCA meeting which was held in the same week as the EDPC.
In a highly personal address Mark Pointon, DP training manager with the Nautical Institute, lauded the conference as a landmark event, as it heralded a “seachange” in the industry’s perception on training. “It was good to see people in the industry being brave enough to stand up at this conference and say they have to improve training and competence. The industry has realised it is down to them.”
Other sessions at the DP conference included an update on regulations, including guidance on what is coming in the wake of last year’s Deepwater Horizon disaster. There was an upbeat forecast on future demand for DP systems and development of new DP technology.
Derrick Green, a former DP operator and now marine superintendent with Consolidated Contractors said: “It was informative and well worth attending”; Steven Jones head of Independent DP Operators Association said the two-day conference is “an excellent event that keeps on improving and evolving”.
If you were not able to attend the conference but would like to purchase conference papers these are available for £250 by contacting email@example.com.
Coverage of the conference and the themes raised will also be carried in future issues of Riviera’s Offshore Support Journal and Marine Electronics & Communications. In addition, discussion will continue via Riviera’s dedicated Dynamic Positioning Networking Group and Offshore Support Vessel Networking Group LinkedIn groups online.
To kept up to date with the 2012 event as it develops please click http://www.rivieramm.com/events/European-Dynamic-Positioning-Conference-19/Event-Home-192 and register your interest.