MarineTalk’s correspondent attended the Ship Repair and Conversion Conference 15-16 November 2000 at Olympia in London. There were about fourteen presentations available to the eighty plus delegates over the two days. The level of attendance at sessions reflected the fact that most of the papers were aimed principally at one or other of the two categories of delegate, namely shipyard management, and ship operators.
The quality of the papers was on the whole good, and it is hard to single out any for special commendation. The following selection probably tells you more about your correspondent’s bias of interest than the quality by any objective standard!
Of interest to both categories of delegate were two papers by marine lawyers Philip Rymer and Jonathan Ward. The first dealt in general with the problems of the ship repair contract, and the second focused on the issues attending owners’ supplies. Both authors emphasized the importance of being specific, and whether explicitly or implicitly made a good case for further international effort in making standard contractual clauses available. Granted this is a more difficult job for the repair industry than for ship sale and charter, new construction, salvage, etc., all of which can refer to generally accepted forms of contract.
For marine engineers, Steen Hviid Mortensen’s very detailed and well-illustrated description of a major propulsion engine repair on the “Princess of Scandinavia” would have been a highlight. An example of good planning and cooperation between owner, shipyard and engine builder (who in this instance was the prime contractor).
Of interest to tanker owners and large shipyards alike was Robert Pucnik’s excellent summary of the FPSO (Floating production storage and off-loading) conversion market. There appears to be a good match between the need to phase out single skin tankers and the growing demand for the FPSO approach to offshore oilfield development. To satisfy this demand converted tankers will in many cases be the right answer technically and economically.
Anyone can order a complete set of the papers by contacting Julie Fulk at phone (44) 1932 355 244 or fax (44) 1932 354 576. The cost is GBP 150, or 160 from outside the UK. Unfortunately individual papers cannot be ordered at this stage.