Tugnology '11 Antwerp | Post Event Report

Tugnology '11, the third biennial Tugnology conference, took place in Antwerp's Hilton Hotel. It brought together 312 delegates from 27 countries, representing an 18 per cent increase in attendees from the previous Tugnology in Amsterdam in 2009. The enjoyable drinks reception on the eve of the Conference was sponsored by Wärtsilä, kicking off the event with a lively and entertaining interlude, with plenty of opportunities to network.

"Venue was excellent. Organisation of the Conference was exceptional. Well communicated and diverse in subject matter. As a representative of a tug owner, this is an invaluable tool in determining the design of our future tug builds."
Richard Farrelly, Rio Tinto.

The event was officially opened by Christiaan de Block, chief operations officer for the Antwerp Port Authority. The Conference papers broached a wide range of topics vital to the industry, including innovative tug propulsion systems, fuel solutions and ship design. Each paper was delivered to a packed Conference hall, and was followed by incisive discussions between delegates and speakers in the question and answer sessions.

Particularly well supported were our discussion sessions, one on green issues, and the other, a structured panel discussion, on crewing and training. One of the key points established was that more should be done to attract the next generation to our industry, and a number of unique ideas were put forward to address this worldwide concern.

"As usual, the format and venue were superb. The papers were well done with excellent technical merit. The networking was outstanding and worth the trip from Mississippi!"
Jeff Sherman, MTU Detroit Diesel.

As usual, networking was a key aspect of the event, with a relaxed atmosphere which encouraged the exchange of creative ideas and co-operation. During the Conference, Kotug announced its partnership with Aspin Kemp and Associates (see page 25 in the May/June 2011 issue of International Tug & Salvage). Kotug also announced a partnership with Endenburg during the event (see page 26 in the same issue).

The lavish buffet lunch each day of the Conference was sponsored by Uzmar Workboat & Tug Factory. Pre-dinner drinks were sponsored by Samson and the outstanding dinner, accompanied by mellow live music, was sponsored by Damen.

Tugnology '11 was closed by Marc van Peel, president of the Port of Antwerp and vice mayor of the city of Antwerp. A harbour tour sponsored by the Port of Antwerp marked the end of the Conference, where a fantastic tugboat display from two of the Port's vessels took place. Though the weather was grey, the conversation was lively and the tour of what everyone agreed was a vast and impressive port, made for a fascinating finish to a highly successful conference.

"The opportunity for networking and discussion was well worth the cost to attend."
Doug Pine, Master of Towing Vessels Assoc.