For those who have never attended this not to-be-missed annual gathering of over 220 representatives of port industry and EU policy makers, or for those who are still making up their minds, we have lined up some good arguments to help convince you to join us in Athens:
1° The theme: The theme of this year’s Conference is “no ports, no energy; no energy, no ports.” With the adoption of its Energy Union Package on 25 February, the European Commission aims at developing a Strategy for a resilient Energy Union with a forward looking Climate Change policy. At present, 40% of all commodities handled in European ports are sources of energy. Moreover European ports are also vital clusters of industry. What can ports expect?
The conference will address some key questions: What are the most realistic energy scenarios and how will these affect transport, ports and port industries? How can ports respond to, and benefit from, these developments? How will the shift to alternative energies in maritime transport and other transport modes affect ports? To what extent can Europe’s decarbonisation agenda bring new business for ports? How can ports enhance the energy security in Europe? How can they improve their energy efficiency?
2° The speakers: The programme is filling-up, with a host of exciting and informative speakers already confirmed:Yiorgos Anomeritis, President and CEO, Piraeus Port Authority, Thomas Becker, CEO, European Wind Energy Association, Raf Bouckaert, HSEQ Expert, President of the Steering Committee Environment and Energy at Flemish Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Peter De Langen, Owner and Principal Consultant, Ports & Logistics Advisory, SL, Santiago Garcia-Milà, Chairman, ESPO, Hans-Peter Hadorn, CEO, Ports of Switzerland, Anne Houtman, Principal Advisor, DG ENERGY, European Commission, Eva Kaili, Member of the European Parliament, Dr. Bart Kuipers, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Ioannis Moralis, Mayor of Piraeus, Capt. Marc Nuytemans, FNI, Managing Director Exmar Shipmanagement NV, Bogdan Oldakowski, Secretary General, Baltic Ports Organisation, John P. LaRue, Executive Director, Port of Corpus Christi Authority, Texas, Carlo Raucci, Doctoral Researcher at UCL Energy Institute, Dimitrios Theologitis, Head of Ports and Inland Navigation, DG MOVE, European Commission, Tania Zgajewski, Senior Research fellow, Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations. Other speakers will be added during the coming days.
Moreover, ESPO is pleased to announce the participation of the European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc and MEP Knut Fleckenstein, the European Parliament’s rapporteur on the Port Regulation, who will offer the audience plenty of opportunity to discuss ports policy.
3° The debate: This year again, ports will go in direct debate with the panellists. The following port representatives are getting ready to debate: José Luis Hormaechea Escós, General Director, Port Authority of Algeciras Bay, Eddy Bruyninckx, CEO Port of Antwerp, Robert Howe, Managing Director, Ports of Bremen, Professor Hercules Haralambides, President, Port of Brindisi, David Whitehead OBE, Director British Ports Association, Valeriu Nicolae Ionescu, CEO, Port of Constantza, Gitte Lillelund Bech, Director, Danish Ports Association, Eamonn O’Reilly, CEO Port of Dublin, Julian Skelnik, Marketing Director, Port of Gdansk, Jens Meier, CEO, Port of Hamburg, Christine Cabau Woehrel, CEO, Grand Port Maritime de Marseille, Giuliano Gallanti, President, Port of Livorno, Alec Don CEO, Port of Milford Haven, Stavros Hatzakos, General Manager, Piraeus Port Authority and Victor Schoenmakers, Director Corporate Strategy, Port of Rotterdam, João Franco, President, Port of Sines and Algarve, with more to follow.
4° The Port2Port pop-up exhibition: For one hour, participants will have the opportunity to learn more about existing energy efficiency projects in European ports. Ports will have the occasion to demonstrate their best practices in the field of energy efficiency, and to exchange good practices with other ports in the field.
5° The Greek hospitality: Last but not least, there is our host, the Port of Piraeus. Did you know that the Ancient Greeks invented the concept of “Xenia”, (“ξενία”), “guest-friendship”. No need to tell you more.
So check out our conference website, reserve your seat and book your flight now: Athens is waiting for you!