Home Associations KORMARINE 2015: Flying the UK flag in Busan

KORMARINE 2015: Flying the UK flag in Busan

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IMG_2405An account of a week in Busan attending the Kormarine Exhibition and Conference, where west meets east and once again the shipping industry is in the driving seat.

What is Kormarine?

Launched internationally in 1978 as an international trade show for the marine and shipbuilding industry, Kormarine is now over 35 years old and goes under the banner of the ‘Festival ‎ for global shipbuilding and offshore industries.’.

This year’s show was the largest so far, bringing together industry-leading companies from South Korea and abroad and presenting the world’s most advanced technology and latest news of the industry.

Paul Beh, Asia Pacific president  of Reed K Fairs, the organisers, said during the opening ceremony on Tuesday he was proudly welcoming exhibitors, guests and delegates.

Kormarine 2015 has grown 15% from the previous exhibition, and is bringing together many of the world’s renowned shipbuilding and offshore companies to the prestigious Bexco exhibition Centre in Busan..

Organised by the Ministry of Trade Industry‎ & Energy, Busan Metropolitan City, Korea Offshore & Shipbuilding Association, Korea Marine Equipment Association and Reed K Fairs., this year the event has been held in conjunction with the 9th Ocean Forum and Kormarine Conference.

Breaking Records

As the biggest Kormarine show so far, the exhibition has attracted just over 1, 000 exhibitors from 45 countries ranging from shipbuilding, offshore plant to oil and gas industries, in an area of 38, 000 sq m, featuring 2, 200 stands.

The recent growth in the oil and gas sector has seen an increase in the number of companies exhibiting and the show devoted to the sector a special outdoor exhibition space.

Exhibitors and National Pavilions:

Hyundai Heavy Industries, Rolls Royce, Kongsberg, MTU, MAN D&T‎, Siemens, ABB, Bosh are some of the familiar names together with local LS Cable & System, Panasia, and Inmarsat among others.

Kormarine Conference

This year the Kormarine Conference theme is “Green Technology Green Opportunity” as a platform to share the latest information and the awareness of technology for a greener environment to embrace the changes in global shipbuilding and offshore industries.

National Pavilions

Bexco No 2 houses hall number 4, a modern building of three floors, which during Kormarine has been dedicated to the national pavilions; Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, USA and last but not least the UK has a presence.

A multitude of products and services – a shopper’s paradise — coversfrom engine to bridge to water treatments to paints to cables to shipbuilders and classification societies.


The United Kigdom Pavillion with the Society of Maritime Industries stand

The United Kigdom Pavillion with the Society of Maritime Industries stand

UK Pavilion

Among the British companies exhibiting in Kormarine are Chromalox, Evoqua Water Technologies, Flangeguards, ISM Shipping Solutions, Mariner Systems (UK), Merlin Diesel Systems, Parker Kittiwake Procal, Polyflor Hong Kong, Servowatch and the Westley Group.

John Southerden, director of business Development at BMEA (formerly known as the British Marine Electronics Association) has been lighting the path for the UK companies exhibiting this year. His presence, guidance and experience has helped everyone in the UK Pavilion to ‎prepare for the four-day event.

British Businesses:


The UK manufacturer of premium quality spray shields, exhibits for the first time at the UK Pavilion.

Managing director, Jeff Harwood has been delighted with the services of BMEA ‎, leveraging the strong UK heritage.

‎”This exhibition allows us to directly showcase our flange protection products to this very important market within Busan.”

Flangeguards.com has the whole range of spray protection solutions, to prevent engine-room fires by stopping hot oil spray-outs and oil mist formation.

Website: www.flangeguards.com


The Panama registry specialists, a UK family business with over 35 years’ experience and offering  services 24/7 ‎to owners, managers and operators with ships under the Panama flag.

For ship and crew certifications, as well as services for private military and security companies ranging from accreditation and annual reporting ‎to continuous discharge certificates.

“Visiting South Korea is a unique experience. ‎ I always have admired the country and specially their history of shipbuilding, ” said Maria Dixon, the chief executive and founder of ISM Shipping Solutions.

Ms Dixon, who has been in shipping since 1980, said that she had always had excellent experience when dealing with Korean companies: “The South Korean shipping professionals are hard workers. They are much focused and with a vast shipping knowledge”.

‎ Website: www.ismshipping.com


Polyflor is a wholly-owned subsidiary of James Halstead Group in the UK. They are a well-established vinyl flooring manufacturers based in Manchester.

This is an important year for Polyflor as they are celebrating the centenary of the James Halstead Group.

This is the first time that Polyflor participates in Kormarine 2015 exhibition and conference. They tell us: “We have met with some important potential customers and we are happy with the show. We will definitively consider coming back to Kormarine in 2017.”


Spunalloys part of the UK’s biggest copper-based foundry group Westley is also exhibiting for the first time at Kormarine.

Westley Group international development  director Neil Walker, for the is very happy for this opportunity to fly the flag and talk to some of the big Korean shipbuilders.

Spunalloys are a centrifugal foundry manufacturing bearing housings, shaft liners, seal rings, CPP parts and submarine castings. Mr Walker added: “The show give us a chance to test the water and show commitment to developing a presence in this important market.”

More information about the range of products can be found by visiting the website www.westleygroup.co.uk

Other companies:


Recently founded Medi Chest serves both sides of the Panama Canal as well as covering all the national ports. It is a family company offering 24/7 services for medical supplies, medicine chest replenishes and certification for all types of ships and all flags.

This is the first visit to the Far East for chief executive Aris Sugaste, after visiting ‎the London Shipping Week, IMO and IMPA in September.  “Kormarine has giving us a lot of food for thought: during our visit, we have heard the difficulties and expectations of shipping companies, owners and operators, as well as their requirements.”

The company also offers disposal services for unused and expired medicines.

IMG_2414Medi Chest’s commercial director is based in London where she covers all time zones and liaises between clients and Panama’s operations department.

Mr Sugaste added that it is important to offer the best product at the best price and with minimal wastage or delays. Dealing with “all flags and all ships in all Panama ports is a tall order and, after identifying the many problems ships have, we are confident, that our services can make life easier for everyone including the local shipping agents.”

Far East Fairs calling home

Friday was the closing day of Kormarine 2015, four days of exhibition, conferences, visits and discoveries. Large as well as small stands, and all in perfect harmony. Visiting other exhibitions, you often find the large and small stands segregated, in location making the fair sharply divided between the prime exhibitors and more modest companies with small budgets.  Kormarine 2015 has the perfect equilibrium. The diversity of products and services on offer is an encouragement for small companies to participate.


Being in the UK pavilion has given us the opportunity this week of seeing very important companies and executives asking us for specifically “British” products. The experience has been an eye opener!  British goods are very much sought after, calling for a partnership between the UKTI, the local British embassies in the Far East and the whole shipping sector in the UK to join forces to promote, offer and sell British products and services.

During the week, we had the visit of the local UKTI officer from the British Embassy in South Korea. The UK pavilion has been a success thanks to the hard work of the BMEA and brilliant contribution of the SMI , bringing a number of companies to Kormarine to promote Britain. As the UKTI said: “GB means Great Business”.

The UK pavilion had numerous visits from organisers promoting fairs in Jakarta, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan among others inviting us to participate and with even a worldwide large business centre offering facilities to set up in Korea and the Far East.

The Far East is booming with fairs and shipping exhibitions. The opportunities are there for British companies to market their goods and services to the industry. We spoke with a Spanish equipment manufacturer who pointed out that finding a local partner to open doors and with good English language skills is paramount for the success of small companies. On the other side, we met a South Korean national, who after many years working for a multinational, had setup a business helping foreign firms to enter the market. The opportunities are numerous, and nowadays when airfares and hotels are not at a premium, small British companies should look further afield and invest in exploring new horizons to increase sales. Shipbuilders in South Korea need to find good products and good prices.

The UK pavilion could boast “veni, vidi, vici” this year at Kormarine and, when the curtains closed on this fantastic show for the 2015 edition, everyone flew home with more than an ordinary experience, they are returning after experiencing a new culture, new traditions, meeting new people and above all delivering a great show! We need to promote our products and services abroad, we are in demand, and together we can do it!

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