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Llewellyn Banks-Hughes: "The Port Of Las Palmas Has It All: At Maritime Week It Will Take The Opportunity To Show Itself To The International Maritime Sector"

on Friday, 17 June 2022. Posted in Petrospot News

Llewellyn Bankes-Hughes, director of Petrospot, organizing firm of the Maritime Week Las Palmas 2022.

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. The head of Petrospot, who has extensive experience in organizing these events around the world, highlights the profile of the venue in the capital of Gran Canaria to grow in the market, take advantage of future opportunities in new sectors such as renewable energies and consolidate its position as a logistics center of reference in the Mid-Atlantic.

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

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, knowing 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. This event was originally supposed to take place in 2020, but the covid-19 pandemic forced us to postpone it several times, until now.

Petrospot is presented with the guarantee of being an independent firm with a broad capacity to monitor the maritime sector today. How would you define the role that the Port of Las Palmas plays today in the global market?

Yes, 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 servicing the offshore energy sector and delivering 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 celebration of a training course. Who is it addressed to? What similar experiences have you developed in this sense? What is the impact of your training department on the global market?

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 other topics.

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 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.

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 take place?

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 replenish demand.

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 the growth in that sector.

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

Whenever 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 locally and, most important of all, , bring people together so that they can forge new business relationships and create new businesses.

A specific section of the conference is dedicated to the role of women in the maritime environment. How to define the current role that women have acquired in this context?

The maritime sector is unusual in that, at managerial level, it is still dominated by men almost everywhere in the world. However, this is now rapidly changing, as more women become aware of the opportunities available. There are already many women captains of ships or chief engineers, but it is true that the proportion is still very inclined towards men. However, in other areas, such as bunkering, the mix is ​​much more even. In some recent training courses, Petrospot has noticed that women outnumber men by a ratio of two to one. This bodes well for the future. The session on women at sea consists of a panel of women from different disciplines and different countries who will discuss how they came to their current job roles, what obstacles have they had to overcome and what advice would they give to other women. on joining the maritime sector. Hopefully this session will give younger women some support and inspiration.

What is the usual profile of people who attend similar actions organized by Petrospot?

Petrospot conferences are geared toward business organizations, rather than the public, because the goal is to raise awareness and help those businesses build strong business relationships. However, the Maritime Week Las Palmas is scheduled to take place every two years, so next time, in 2024, when we hope that covid-19 will not have an influence and these things will be easier to organize, we will seek to make parts of the event much more accessible to everyone. Local participants, including schoolchildren, teachers and students.