«La Luz is in a privileged position to be a 'hub' of green energies»

Llewellyn Bankes-Hughes is director of Petrospot, the firm that organizes the Las Palmas Maritime Week. / C7

The organizer of the Maritime Week highlights the profile of the port of Las Palmas to grow in the market and take advantage of future opportunitiesLlewellyn Bankes-Hughes Director of Petrospot, organizer of the Maritime Week

CANARY ISLANDS7 The Gran Canarian palms

Llewellyn Bankes-Hughes is the director of Petrospot, the organizing firm of Maritime Week Las Palmas 2022, together with the Oneport organization and Proexca. An event that will be held from June 20 to 22 at the Santa Catalina, a Royal Hideaway Hotel, and that will show the capabilities of the Port of Las Palmas to a broad representation of the leading firms in the international maritime sector.

- How did the opportunity to organize the Maritime Week in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria arise?

- Many shipping companies are already familiar with the maritime services offered by the Port of Las Palmas, but many others only know it as a supply port, and know little or nothing about the other services that are available here.

As someone who has closely followed the shipping industry for many years, I decided it was time to showcase Puerto Las Palmas and its maritime services to a wider international audience. Originally, this event was supposed to take place in 2020, but
the covid-19 pandemic forced us to postpone it several times, until now.


- How would you define the role that the Port of Las Palmas plays today in the global market?

- Petrospot is very active in the maritime sector, as a publisher, provider of training courses and organizer of international conferences, and has extensive experience in port and shipping activities.

It also understands the importance of promoting the services provided by any port in the face of today's strong competition. Las Palmas occupies a strategically important position in the mid-Atlantic, giving it the opportunity to offer a wide range of services to ships passing en route to and from continental Europe, Africa and the Americas.

It is a port well known for bunkering, but it also has the opportunity to grow its ship repair sector, container transshipment, provisions, agency and other activities, including the service it can provide to the energy sector. offshore and the delivery of oil products and other supplies to nearby West Africa. Las Palmas has it all, and you will benefit from the opportunity you have at Maritime Week to highlight what you have to offer to the international maritime industry.

-The conferences include the holding of a training course. Who is it addressed to?

-Petrospot has a long history of running highly rated training courses. The one offered in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is designed to train new employees and junior staff on the basics of shipping and bunkering, so that they better understand the industry in which they work.

The 'An Introduction to Shipping and Bunkering' course has been held around the world, educating newcomers to the industry and helping them progress within their companies. Over the last twenty years, more than 5,000 people have attended Petrospot's courses on bunkering, LNG, fuel management, risk management, marine surveying, maritime law and others.

- As a maritime information analyst, how would you define the real scenario after the impact of the pandemic on the maritime transport business?

- The pandemic has had a massive impact on the world and on the shipping industry. Shipments have continued during the pandemic because they had to continue to be made. A surge in online shopping during the lockdown meant container ships filled up with goods being shipped from Asia to Europe and the Americas, causing rates to rise to record highs.

This was conditioned by unprecedented congestion at ports, from Shanghai to Los Angeles, as the pandemic forced multiple closures at different times. The cruise industry, of course, was hit particularly hard, with no voyages taking place for many months as passengers chose to avoid them.

But one of the biggest and most controversial problems during the pandemic was caused by the inability to change crews, some of whom were trapped on board ships for months without being able to leave them or return home to see their families, because they were not allowed to travel to their home countries.

- Along the same lines, what role do you think the Port of Las Palmas can play in the future, in a context in which an energy transition is also beginning to proceed?

- The Port of Las Palmas is in a privileged position to become a green energy hub as the energy transition continues. A range of 'new' fuels will be required in the years to come, as shipping moves forward on the path to a carbon-neutral future.

There will be opportunities to fuel the passing fleet with liquefied natural gas, methanol, biofuels, hydrogen and ammonia, as more ships are converted or built to run on greener fuels. As with conventional bunker fuel, Las Palmas has the opportunity to build a supply base to meet demand.

-During the conference, an important role is given to the Port of Las Palmas as a strategic 'hub' for actions with West Africa. In recent years, the offshore sector has been very important in Las Palmas, especially in ship repairs. How can the Port of Las Palmas take advantage of this experience in the future?

-Las Palmas appears to have done an excellent job of maintaining its position as a leading ship repair center in the mid-Atlantic. Offshore oil and gas tend to move from one market to another, but the offshore wind energy sector has a great future, and shipyards are in a strong position to take advantage of it.

- In your experience, what are the main results that are usually obtained after the conferences organized by Petrospot in the different ports?

- Every time we hold a major conference like Martime Week Las Palmas our key objective is to educate local people about what is available to them, introduce foreigners to what is available in each location and, most importantly, to everything, bringing people together so they can forge new relationships.

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