The day one of our first Dredging Today Conference, taking place at Amsterdam RAI Convention Center under the theme ‘Changing Climate, Resilient Business’, is now behind us.
The two-day event, opened by Femke Perlot-Hoogeveen, the Conference Manager, has gathered expert speakers and panelists to discuss how the world in which the dredging industry operates is changing.
In the opening session, the keynote speakers presented topical insights on the global picture for dredging, covering the main drivers for dredging: expected developments in world trade, urban development near coastlines, coastal protection, offshore energy and tourism and leisure.
Talking about the strategic plans for the Chittagong Port and a floating harbor project, Rear Admiral M. Khaled Iqbal, Chairman, Chittagong Port Authority, highlighted importance of developing Bangladesh’s seaports.
Mr Iqbal also said that the Chittagong Port presents a bridge between South Asia and South East Asian Nations.
During his presentation, Richard Brakenhoff, Industry Analyst at Rabobank, shared thoughts about “structural growth drivers of the global dredging markets.”
Mr Brakenhoff also added that “offshore wind continues to stimulate dredging market.”
‘Middle East perspective on business climate trends’ was the main topic of Mr John Mackenzie’s presentation.
Mr Mackenzie, Business Development Director at NMDC, said that the whole Gulf Region (UAE, Saudi Arabia, etc) is generating growth through port development.
The urban development by land reclamation for infrastructure and housing was also part of discussion during his appearance.
“A pick up in non-oil private sector economic activity is the key driver of growth,” concluded Mr Mackenzie.
Maurice de Kok, Business Development Director, Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors, shared his insights on the future markets for dredging. Mr de Kok said that ‘Building with Nature’ concept requires a multi-stakeholders approach.
The second part of our ‘Thematical session: Climate change and its impact on dredging’, started with discussion about the effects of climate change, both physical (for example with sea level rise, flooding and erosion) and non-physical (for example by changing client demands regarding operations, driving CO2 reductions and use of alternative fuels, among others).
The physical aspects of climate change: Rising sea levels, was the topic of Mr Rob van Dorland’s presentation.
The Senior Adviser Climate at KNMI stated that the increase of concentrations of CO2CH4 and N2O is primarily due to human activities. He also talked about observations and climate models.
Speaking about sustainable development of land reclamation, Mark van Zanten, Senior Project Manager Water, Royal HaskoningDHV, highlighted “need for water safe/resilient development to deal with the effects of climate change.”
With rising sea levels, the polder alternative becomes more attractive, according to Mr van Zanten.
During the day two, Thematical Session: Solutions and funding for climate change adaptation, will be on the table.
The second part of tomorrow’s program is reserved for Thematical Session: Dredging for clean energy.
During the Closing Session: How are you making your business resilient?, the spotlight will be on a panel discussion ‘how the dredging industry is preparing for the future’.
Topics include: how are companies anticipating climate change and its effects; how are companies working on project integration and collaborating in a more holistic way; how are companies leveraging technologies developed outside the industry?