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Global Transport Forum MD, Alex Williamson, prepares for a bumper Tank World Expo in April

07th January 2015

Luke Upton, Editor Tank World News interviewed Alex Williamson, Managing Director, Global Transport Forum, on the progress being made in preparation for April’s Tank World Expo in Dubai

Luke Upton, Editor Tank World News interviewed Alex Williamson, Managing Director, Global Transport Forum, on the progress being made in preparation for April’s Tank World Expo in Dubai
'In just three years Tank World has become simply un-missable for the industry and we look forward to welcome 3000+ visitors in April to the Dubai World Trade Centre' - Williamson

Luke Upton (LU):  With four months to go until Tank World Expo how are you plans coming together for the event? 

Alex Williamson (AW): Very well indeed thanks. Following the huge growth that we experienced in 2014, it is a strong indication of both the vibrancy and evolution of our industry and the importance of this event to the global business of storage that Tank World Expo is expanding significantly again in 2015. It’s the only event that brings global expert speaker, visitors and exhibitors from across the entire tank storage value chain to one location for two packed days.

In just three years Tank World has become simply un-missable for the industry and we look forward to welcome 3000+ visitors in April to the Dubai World Trade Centre, all looking to share best practice, get access to prospects, make new connections and renew old ones and develop their business potential. It’s going to be a great few days!



LU: It’s a global event, but what made your choose Dubai as the venue?

AW:  Choosing the venue for an event which has a global perspective and international attendee list is crucial. But with the Middle East at the heart of the global oil and petrochemical industry Dubai is the perfect host it offers easy international transport links, a wide variety of accommodation and the Dubai World Trade Centre offers a 5* event experience. Plus being in close proximity to the huge facility at Fujairah always ensures that the operators and suppliers developing some of the most innovative and cutting edge facilities are in attendance. We follow closely the developments with the industry and for growing areas such as India, East Africa and the eastern Mediterranean Dubai is easy to visit for the people developing those projects as well. 



LU: Now, in its 3rd year, what new aspects can attendees expect for the 2015 show?

AW: Every year we review, amend and aim to improve the event. This is the only event that we organise in the tank storage sector so the team work 365 days a year on it. And what makes the congress unique, is that it is created by an Advisory Board of industry experts including Saudi Aramco, DP World, ENOC, and Fujairah Port amongst others who at their meeting identified a number of key trends, opportunities and challenges for the industry that they wished to see addressed. The format and content of the event is as a result, based on the needs and requirements of the industry.

For this year we’ve developed a higher-level more strategically focussed Congress with a greater global focus. It features more speakers than any other show with a host of international experts representing facilities, terminals and ports in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Spain, India, Africa plus exhibitors based in 15+ different countries across three continents.

None of this strategic insight would be of course be available without the technology that makes it all work! And in addition the Congress, Tank World has a wide array of on-floor Innovation Zone Presentations focussing on key aspects of tank storage best practice including optimisation, automation, safety, integration, inspection and environmental protection. These have always proved popular with both suppliers and end users so will again form a big part of the event.

In addition to the Congress and Innovation Zone Presentations, the Expo will feature 100+ cutting-edge companies displaying the latest technologies, solutions and innovations for the industry. Key sellers who exhibit at the show include: engineering & construction companies, automation solution providers, tank manufactures and safety companies, cleaning and maintenance experts, fire protection companies, training providers and much more.

The Expo will be significantly bigger again with around 100 exhibitors from across the industry, this is compared to 50 in 2014 and 30 in our launch year, 2013. And what’s interesting is that we are seeing a greater variety of companies getting involved with the event as well all through the supply chain as well as increases from African and Asian representation. Plus, we’ve launched our Terminal & Ports Zone which will have some of the biggest and newest facilities from across from around the world joining the Expo.



LU: The Congress sounds a like it will offer some great insights, can you tell us some more?  

AW: Yes, it’s a very important aspect of the event. As I’ve said we work with an Advisory Board to develop the themes, content and speakers for Congress as well as the show as a whole. Our topics and speaker recruitment is as a result based on the needs and requirements of the industry and we change and update every year.

The key strategic issues that the industry are keen to hear about include attracting investment, expanding terminal capacity, the changing trade flows resulting from the Shale Revolution, growth of demand for LNG in Asia, exploit growth opportunity and deliver enhanced profitability. Tank World’s unique format allows for high level ideas sharing and benchmarking to overcome these challenges. As a result the strategic Congress includes high-level presentations on ‘Delivering growth to increase terminal capacity’ delivered by H.E. Sharief Habib Al Awadhi, (Director General and CEO, Fujairah Free Zone) ‘Building independent terminals to meet demand’ from Dipo Salimonu (CEO, Moteriba Terminals), ‘Collaborating successfully to ensure growth’ by David Gledhill (CEO, Port of Salalah) and ‘Developing and efficient model for port operations’ Josep Andreu i Figueras (CEO, Port of Tarragona) plus many more.

Our Congress also has a focus on interaction. We offer time for the delegates to engage directly with our 80+ expert speakers both during session and in networking breaks. We know how passionate the industry can get over certain topics and areas and it’s always satisfying to see our delegates fully engaged in a session!


LU: And finally, what’s this we are hearing about a tank storage golf tournament?

AW: Ha, ha! Yes, that’s right. We have launched our 1st Annual Tank World Golf Tournament in Dubai at the Faldo Golf Course and invite the industry to accept the challenge! We know how popular the sport is within the industry and as Dubai is full of fantastic golf courses we are excited to have created this new competition! It takes place on Sunday 12th April, the day before Tank World Expo, so starts a busy few days with a sociable networking experience, and of course offering participants the opportunity to show off their golfing skills and win the coveted 2015 Tank World Cup! Plus as with all good golf events, well make sure there’s a warm welcome in the clubhouse afterwards for that all important 19th hole!


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