South African companies who showcased their capabilities at the four-day-long Offshore Technology Conference in the US are pleased with the quality of meetings and leads they acquired. Photo: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – South African companies who showcased their capabilities at the four day-long Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas in the US are pleased with the quality of meetings and leads they acquired. 

The delegation was from the steel and fabrication; engineering and services; electro-technical and services; and oil and gas sectors, and the Saldanha and Richards Bay Industrial Development Zones.

A 32-year-old who studied B-Com Accounting degree and furthered his studies in Maritime Economics and later found passion in the shipping industry Mr Durand Naidoo who is the Managing Director at Linsennambi – a 100 percent black-owned South African shipping company, offering bunkering and shipping services to the maritime industry, attended the Offshore Technology Conference and showcased for the first time. 

Naidoo described the South African pavilion at the conference as one that allowed him to engage with the principals and suppliers whom he deals with on an international basis and new potential clients. I was overwhelmed with the companies from all over the world, across the spectrum and the leading technology as well as equipment, said Naidoo. 

Additionally, he said that he was pleased with the participation and turnout and will be following-up with international companies that are looking for bunkering service in their offshore bases which will be positioned for drilling around Mozambique and Mossel Bay areas. 

“It is clear that all the international companies have their eyes set on Africa as well as gas. I think the interest has reaffirmed that gas is the future of the energy mix. The experience we acquired will allow us to go back and speak with our oil majors’ customers and let them know that internationally we will see suppliers and companies coming offshore and we should position ourselves to service them and if we don’t we will run the risk of our gas industry being run by foreign companies,” said Naidoo. 

The executive eirector of OSCMarine Group, Travis McDonald who was also participating for the first time said the experience was great and phenomenal and they received a lot of enquiries for the Richards Bay region. He stated that the company received a number of enquiries that they will follow-up in the next week with the hope of turning them into opportunities. 

“Without a doubt, the show was a door opener and most importantly the pavilion managed to highlight what South Africa can offer,” said McDonald.

The Commercial Executive: Technical at Sturrock Grindrod Maritime (Pty) Ltd Mr Guy Sampson whose firm participated for the sixth year said the show had better flow and presence. Importantly, Sampson said he was taking home a lot of leads from companies that do a lot of offshore drilling. 

The managing director of Hall Longmore Kenny van Rooyen said Hall Longmore has a long stand standing relationship with the customers in the US and pre-planning and arranging meetings prior the show and looking at additional clientele goes a long way for a company. 

“The show offered us with an opportunity to touch base with our existing customers and potential customers”, further said van Rooyen.

According to the Director of Export Promotion at the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), Mr Luke Govender, companies have positioned themselves strategically as suppliers of choice given the country’s industrial base. Furthermore, he said South Africa continues to ensure that it maintains a market share by being present and visible in the US.  Conversely, the US needs to take serious cognisance of the immense trade and investment opportunities by forming strategic alliances that seek to capitalise on our commercial ties as envisaged in the African Growth and Opportunity Act .

“The clustered approach which comprised of the dti, the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone, Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone and the SA Oil and Gas Alliance is reflective of an SA Incorporation approach in enhancing services of exports and simultaneously attracting export-related foreign direct investment from developed markets,” said Govender.

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