In less than four weeks, ESPO is holding its Annual Conference in Athens, hosted by the Port of Piraeus.
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 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.” By adopting the 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 port regulation: Needless to say, also this year’s conference will dedicate some time to the port regulation and its latest state of play. Early May, EP’s Transport Committee will be debating the proposal for the first time since the EU elections. What will be the approach of the rapporteur? Is the “new” Transport Committee supporting the work done before the 2014 elections? How will the Commission react to possible changes?
As this year’s conference is bringing together the Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc, the port regulation rapporteur Knut Fleckenstein and the PPE-shadow Elissavet Vozemberg, it will be a perfect occasion to know more about the way forward with the port proposal in the European Parliament. Moreover, the conference might also give a sneak preview of Mr Fleckstein’s draft report
3° The speakers: The programme is filling-up, with a host of exciting and informative speakers: Yiorgos Anomeritis, President and CEO, Piraeus Port Authority, Raf Bouckaert, HSEQ Expert, President of the Steering Committee Environment and Energy at Flemish Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport, Hari Dattatreya, Global Director Oil, Koninklijke Vopak: Decarbonising Europe: Challenges for the tank storage sector in European Ports, Dr. Peter De Langen, Owner and Principal Consultant, Ports & Logistics Advisory, SL, Arturas Drungilas, Marketing Director, Klaipeda State Seaport Authority: Role of the port in developing Klaipeda into the Energy City for the Baltic area, Knut Fleckenstein, MEP and rapporteur on the Port Regulation, 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, Vincent Valentine, UNCTAD – United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Elissavet Vozemberg, Member of the European Parliament, David Whitehead OBE, Director British Ports Association (BPA), Rob Winkel, Senior consultant Sustainable Transport, Ecofys: The economic and environmental potential for shore-side electricity in European Ports, Tania Zgajewski, Senior Research fellow, Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations.
These speakers will enter into debate with different port’s representatives: Eddy Bruyninckx, CEO, Port of Antwerp, Christine Cabau Woehrel, CEO, Grand Port Maritime de Marseille, Alec Don, CEO, Port of Milford Haven, Marina Ferreira, President of the Board, Port of Lisbon, João Franco, President, Port of Sines and Algarve, Giuliano Gallanti, President, Port of Livorno, Stavros Hatzakos, General Manager, Piraeus Port Authority, Professor Hercules Haralambides, President, Port of Brindisi, José Luis Hormaechea Escós, General Director, Port Authority of Algeciras Bay, Robert Howe, Managing Director, Ports of Breme, Valeriu Nicolae Ionescu, CEO, Port of Constantza, Gitte Lillelund Bech, Director, Danish Ports association, Jens Meier, CEO, Port of Hamburg, Eamonn O’Reilly, Vice Chairman ESPO and CEO Port of Dublin, Victor Schoenmakers, Director Corporate Strategy, Port of Rotterdam, Julian Skelnik, Marketing Director, Port of Gdansk.
4° The Port2Port pop-up exhibition: In the afternoon of the first day, 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!