Flavio Andrade talks about sustainability, pollution and energy during opening session of Sobena’s 13th Marine Environment and Energy Efficiency Seminar

The 13th Marine Environment and Energy Efficiency Seminar was held on November 17 and 18 by the Brazilian Naval Engineering Association (Sobena). It featured some prominent figures in the shipbuilding, offshore and environment ships. The event lived up to Sobena’s expectations of spreading good ideas and opportunities, contributing to solutions in the economic, environmental and social areas.

OceanPact’s CEO, Flavio Andrade, gave a speech during the opening session of the seminar, which took place both online and in-person, in the Auditorium of the Brazilian Navy’s Ports and Coasts Division in Rio de Janeiro. There was a panel discussion made up of Vice Admiral Alexandre Cursino de Oliveira, the Navy’s director of ports and coasts; Luis Carlos Barradas, an engineer and vice president of Sobena; and Sobena’s president, Ricardo Portela.

“Two years ago, I gave a presentation here at Sobena about energy efficiency and I’m happy to be here again, kicking off this important seminar. Today, sustainability is both a necessity and an engine for business. That isn’t a contradiction. The search for energy efficiency is the search for innovation and a world that supports this development,” said Flavio Andrade at the beginning of his talk. He then said that the development of technology to mitigate and minimize oil spill impacts had been remarkable, especially after the blowout in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. “However, the final efficiency of these initiatives remains very low and it is clear that efforts must focus on avoiding oil spills. Combating oil pollution at sea is evolving and there are some very good collection techniques. However, for other types of pollution, the problem is worse, as it is harder to see what is happening. That’s why we need innovation to protect the marine environment.”

OceanPact’s CEO also highlighted the pursuit of energy efficiency at a time when fossil fuels and their emissions are causing the oceans to heat up and acidify. “We know it is necessary to develop new fuels and systems for maritime transport, which handles 80% of all cargo in the world. We’re looking at ammonia, hydrogen and batteries, but they all have to improve, because fossil fuels are very efficient. That’s where naval engineering comes in. We need to improve everything to achieve the necessary result. As long as we don’t have a silver bullet, we won’t be able to stop optimizing every little piece of our path,” he said.

Andrade ended his talk by stating that shipbuilding and ship repair, maritime transport, fishing and offshore oil and gas production are the “tugboats” of the marine economy. “In future, we will have to add other sectors, such as biotechnology, aquaculture, tourism and renewable energies, and we will require effective coastal mapping. Sustainability requires that we know how to integrate all these activities at the same time,” he concluded.