Offshore Energy is one of Europe’s major offshore trade fairs. One of the two successful RPPC communities is the offshore community, which presented itself as a united group at the Offshore Energy trade fair in Amsterdam in early October 2019. With 36 companies in a single pavilion, it was impossible not to notice the ‘Rotterdam Energy’.
THE OFFSHORE PORT OF EUROPE
Van der Deijl, Community Manager at RPPC: ‘There were a number of reasons we set up this pavilion for our offshore community. Of course the overarching idea is to show the world that Rotterdam has it all. We are Europe’s offshore port. We have a wide range of companies: logistics, the maritime industry, service providers offering everything from services, training and consultancy to hoisting and lifting. We’ve joined forces to present ourselves to the other companies in the sector. These companies regularly collaborate in practice, and the trade fair is an opportunity for us to strengthen our mutual bond.’ This collaboration is more than just pleasant, it’s significant. Cooperating lets companies take on large and new projects that any single company probably would not have the capacity to handle alone. To be sure, the participating companies encounter possible rivals at the trade fair, but mostly they meet new associates with whom to cooperate.
Van der Deijl is certainly enthusiastic about the trade fair and he is not alone. We spoke with a number of participants on and around the pavilion. Peter Leenheer from Bonn & Mees Drijven Blokken BV: ‘The concept of RPPC and Port of Rotterdam acts like a magnet. It attracts large numbers of people. They come to this large stand, see Tom, Dick or Harry and think: ‘Hey, this is where I need to be’. As a result, it’s always busy at the stand and, indeed, we want to exude that sense of activity.’ Jan Moerkerken of Condor Heavy Services BV also agrees a large pavilion with many participants is a good idea. ‘It’s incredibly busy at the stand. All the leading companies are simply here.’ ‘You meet people who you could think of as competitors, but also as future partners’, says David den Broeder of ISS Palumbo Netherlands BV. ‘In fact, we have met a number of parties here we will be collaborating with.’
The Port of Rotterdam is larger than Rotterdam alone. Two companies came to the trade fair at their own initiative: Identico Bedrijfskleding which opened a new branch in Hardinxveld-Giessendam and Mammoet of Schiedam. Sander Molmans of Mammoet: ‘This is very interesting community. You can learn from one another, you can cooperate with each other and I like the fact that we get to take a look behind the scenes during visits each other’s companies. Yes, I really like that aspect. The companies in Schiedam are highly varied and that’s a great network in and of itself, but the world knows the Port of Rotterdam and we are also part of that.’
Everyone just about agrees with that last statement. Rotterdam is not just Rotterdam, but Greater Rotterdam. RPPC includes many companies from Schiedam, the so-called Drecht cities and Moerdijk. Brian Mo-Ajok of the municipality of Schiedam, which promotes the interests of Schiedam companies in its Offshore Valley initiative, is pleased. ‘The Netherlands is far too small for companies to compete with one another, much less to start competing in the same region. We are currently working on a centre for maritime education and innovation to which we hope to draw students from the Delft and Eindhoven universities of technology and offer them an opportunity to put their ideas into practice.’
KNOWLEDGE & EXPERTISE
RPPC was not alone in setting up the pavilion; the port company was also involved. Joost Eenhuizen, Maritime & Offshore Industry Business Manager, shares the opinion of most of those we spoke to: ‘The biggest advantage we are offering is a large cluster of companies. And not just a large cluster, but especially a broad and deep cluster with a wealth of knowledge and expertise available. You can find everything here, all fairly close together. Our wonderful port is simply in a very powerful position. And, if you ask me, that’s just what we are telling the world again right here.’