The 42 annual International Pipeline and Offshore Contractors Convention (IPLOCA) was held Sept. 28–Oct. 3 in Athens at the InterContinental Hotel. There were more than 600 attendees at the event.

2007-2008 IPLOCA president John Reed, Heerema Marine Contractors Nederland BV, chaired the overall meeting. In the opening general meeting,  Reed stated that overall there were 77,000 miles of pipeline planned or under construction for 2008 — a 12 percent increase from 2007. IPLOCA executive secretary Juan Arzuaga directed staff activities during the convention.

The IPLOCA Convention is always an excellent blend of business and cultural activities. There were a number of distinguished speakers during the general meetings. The topics included “The Success of the Pipeline Industry Depends on Collaboration,” presented by George Tenley, president, Pipeline Resource Council International, and “Toward a Responsible Energy Future,” presented by Knud Petersen, global manager pipelines and offshore technology,  Shell Global Solutions International BV.

In the past year, IPLOCA has added four contractor members and eight associate members. Contractor members now total 110 and associates 121.

At the convention, two significant awards were presented. The Health and Safety Award, sponsored by Chevron, was presented to Bonnati S.p.A. regarding the Montalbano Pipeline Project. The Enviromental Award, sponsored by Shell, went to Spiecapag for its winning entry “Effective Waste Management and Waste Reduction in Yemen.”

Cultural activities included numerous archeological sites including the Acropolas and the Parthenon in Athens, visits to ancient Corinth and Mycenae, and excursions to the islands of Poros, Hydra and Aegina.
A major function at each year’s convention is the election of new officers. Bruno de la Roussière, Entrepose Contracting, assumed the position of president for 2008-2009. Special awards were given to outgoing president John Reed and his wife, Deidre, at the final banquet. The 2009 convention will be held Sept. 14-18 in San Francisco.

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