CATME opens with van Gelder keynote
By Murray Pollok23 March 2022
The Cranes and Transport Middle East (CATME) conference opened in Dubai this morning with keynote speaker Paul van Gelder, CEO of Mammoet, saying that greater investment and a new approach to contracts is required for the renewables sector.
Speaking to more than 200 delegates at the Swissotel Al-Murooj, van Gelder said there is no such thing as cheap energy; “Squeezing the supply chain from top to bottom results in a drop in safety and quality standards and slows our progress towards sustainability goals that already look extremely challenging.
“It does not make sense for governments to celebrate ambitious climate targets at the same time as underfunding renewable energy projects taking place now…If we are genuinely committed to building value for the planet and the people on it, we must do that by adding value, not competing in a race to the bottom.”
He argued that the risk attached to projects should be divided more equally between developers, EPCs and sub-contractors; “When you’re working at the edge of what is possible, the risks grow faster than the loads do.”
Van Gelder also suggested that renewables will require hybrid contracts; “There is no future for lump sum agreements in renewables – or any sector, for that matter. I ask you – how can we maintain high operational and safety standards, and innovate to drive the industry forwards, when project risks flow downwards and funding upwards?”
He added; “Wind components will grow to new extremes, as oil and gas modules did in the past, and as this happens the risks associated for all players will become larger and less certain.
“The value of working on individual project phases will grow smaller and smaller compared to the value of the project as a whole – so much so, that under current contracting arrangements the cost of delaying a project for one or two days could make it unprofitable to become involved at all.
“Less risky elements of projects should therefore be ring-fenced as standard, with the rest open for discussion. To succeed in the renewables market, companies must have a much more open-minded approach to contracting.”
Other speakers at the event will include representatives from Saudi Aramco, Sarens, Hareket, Gulf Test, Crosby-BlokCam and Wolffkran. Videos of the presentation will be available for streaming after the event.
The event is organised by KHL Group and its magazine International Cranes and Specialized Transport. Supporting associations are SC&RA, ESTA and the UAE Contractors’ Association.