The CEO of Heraklion Port Authority S.A.
Mr. Minas Papadakis represented the Port of Heraklion
in this year’s
London International Shipping Week
The agenda included extremely interesting topics:
Environment-Decarbonization, Contemporary Social Trends and Governance- Digitalization
Mr. Minas Papadakis, CEO of the Port of Heraklion SA, participated in this year's interesting London International Shipping Week.
The famous international event took place again this year following the currently popular model of hybrid exhibitions & events (a combination of virtual/online and live events/discussions). Because of the outbreak of the pandemic the last “live” event was held back in 2019.
This year's event focused in the following interesting sections:
- Environment - Decarbonization
- Social trends which after the pandemic affect the global community and expect to accelerate structural changes in the future consumer behavior
- Governance - Digitalization
The entire Global Shipping industry with more than 250 entries, found for this event in London, including all the "top" names of the Global Shipping Community, but also key representatives of the British government. All participants seem now to be sensitive and keen to accelerate the decarbonization of the Shipping industry.
The main topics discussed were the following:
- Which will be the technology, that will ultimately prevail. Hydrogen is considered being the optimum solution. Regarding the possible use of Methanol, this contradicts the fact that there are not enough quantities, while the electrification seems to be worth considering as a reliable alternative only for small passenger ships covering short distances.
- A large part of the existing, old fleet is unfortunately expected to end up fatally for scrap in specialized ship dumps.
- Large investments are required, but at the moment they are on hold, as the Shipping Industry seems unfortunately to be moving in uncharted waters. Building a ship, which is a long-term investment, requires at least 2-3 years from the time the final approval is given. As long as the preferred, most suitable technology is not visible, it is rather difficult for Shipping Companies to decide building new "green" ships.
- In such an uncertain investment landscape in terms of new technology, there is an urgent need for "smart" ways of financing but also for state aid-grants, which will significantly enhance new “Green Economy” investment efforts.
- Safety: Whatever the preferred technological solution might be, it should ensure the absolute safety of vessels, crew members and the whole marine ecosystem.
- A common finding in all lively public debates but also in private conversations, was that unfortunately, there is not much time left. Keynote speakers emphasized that we are now in a very critical phase and the debate must be accelerated, as time is running out at an extremely fast pace and the negative effects on our daily lives and the balance of the planet Earth will be irreversible.
- The social effects of climate change and pandemics were also the subject of extensive debate and reflection. A specific panel discussed the issue of growing economic inequality, an issue that should concern humanity, regardless of our social status and our economic prosperity, because as it grows, it has the potential to derail humanity, with violent social reactions.
Mr. Papadakis had personal contacts and discussions with the British Minister of Merchant Marine Mr. Robert Courts as well as with many senior executives.
The conclusions of the Conference will be presented in detail during the next Board of Directors meeting of HPO.