Greetings again from Singapore! It’s Day 2 at the 2010 International No-Dig Show and there are a lot of things for me to report to you. The show started off Monday after a brief opening ceremony at which Dr Sam Ariaratnam (Arizona State University) took over the chairmanship of ISTT from outgoing chairman Dec Downey. Sam had been the vice chairman. The new ISTT vice chairman is Derek Choi of the China Hong Kong Society for Trenchless Technology. The keynote speaker, Khoo Teng Chye, Chief Executive Singapore Public Utility Board (PUB) — he did a great job briefly describing PUB’s trenchless water work.
Insituform general manager in Singapore Scot Pearson has now been in Singapore three years. He described the China market as very difficult for rehab work vs. new construction. There is a lot of talk here about China and its huge market, but with gigantic pollution issues. American Augers’ Keith Crossen, has made numerous trips to China and commented that Chinese contractors are still quite interested in buying U.S.-made HDD rigs, despite the fact there are now numerous Chinese-built rigs on the market.
I was surprised to see Jack Gabrielse, formerly InterCon Construction president, now working as a consultant for Ditch Witch. I had a nice lunch visit with Vermeer CEO Mary Angringa and her husband Dale, talking about market conditions. Just like so many of us, they are cautious about 2011 and concerned about health care costs for their employees under the new health care changes. Friedhelm Albrecht, who I met years ago when I hitched a ride with him to a show in Hamburg, has a booth in the German Pavilion. He has a new pipe bursting system for which he is looking for dealers in North America.
I closed out the day visiting the highly regarded Singapore Night Safari near the zoo. My wife Phyllis and I went along with NASTT executive director Mike Willmets and his wife Widdy, as well as Piero Salvo (Genivar and NASTT) and Jason Lueke (Arizona State University). And of course we stopped by the lobby bar of the Pan Pacific Hotel to have a beer, and Ben Cote of Sanexen joined us.
Tuesday at the International No-Dig Show there are more interesting papers, the exhibit hall will be open and the Gala Banquet tops off the evening — so it should be a busy day!