The Offshore Energy Exhibition and Conference (OEEC) is once again returning to RAI in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on 26 and 27 October.

ELA Container Offshore has been a prominent part of OEEC for years and this offshore accommodation specialist is returning once again in person as one of the exhibitors.

We used this occasion to speak to Hans Gatzemeier, Managing Director at ELA Container Offshore GmbH, to discuss the company’s expectations of the event, the importance of these kinds of gatherings, and their plans to attend further events such as THE BLUE BEACH event in Hamburg organised by Vincent Nölting, Managing Director at Nölting GmbH.

Q: What are the company’s expectations this year and has the industry missed the in-person gatherings such as this one?

Gatzemeier: ”Our expectations are to discuss future steps for the whole Offshore Energy industry with other professionals face-to-face. I think it doesn’t make sense to discuss via video conferences, since our containers are „Look and Feel” products. We need to show the available space inside the containers, the quality, what the size and features are and, last but not least, what advantages arise for our customers when using our products.”

Q: How active has ELA Container Offshore been in the offshore energy market since the last time we saw each other in person?

Gatzemeier: ”We are currently working very actively on future projects. The Offshore Energy industry is becoming more and more important to us.”

Q: Apart from OEEC, you are also taking part in THE Blue BEACH event for renewable energies in Hamburg, Germany. What was the idea behind teaming up with Vincent Nölting, the organizer of the event?

Gatzemeier: ”In general, I think it is important to make the European offshore industry more familiar. It is very significant for us to network with other professionals about future opportunities and/or possible collaborations in order to build a strong European community and become a global leader. We visited THE BLUE BEACH event in Hamburg this year and were very excited about this professional community. I think this event will become a very important European platform for the future with high-level speakers and guests.”

Vincent Nölting, the organiser of THE BLUE BEACH event will also be attending this year’s OEEC in Amsterdam in an effort to explore synergies between the two projects.

Q: Can you tell us about the idea behind the Blue Beach and the main goal of the event?

Nölting: ”First of all, thank you for the opportunity to present THE BLUE BEACH at OEEC. THE BLUE has been one of the best-known renewable energy event formats in Germany since 2013. We bring the industry together in unusual formats and let current topics take place in unusual places such as a circus tent or even a boxing ring. This creates attention and a sustainable idea for the participants. THE BLUE BEACH is the summer event for renewable energies. This summer, after the long corona break, we were the first to realise a comprehensive network meeting for the actors of renewable energies in Europe. With great success. THE BLUE BEACH manages the balancing act between a program with top-class speakers, networking at the highest level and an extraordinary evening event with culinary delights. Our stakeholders in renewable energies can meet in an informal way, exchange ideas and take stock of the first half of the year before the summer break.

One of the success factors is the venue: the Beachclub del mar in Hamburg has an unforgettable view of the Elbe, the wind turbines of the city of Hamburg and a showcase location for renewable energies in the world. Of course, the journey of all our guests is quite easy. 80 % of our guests travel from all over Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Our partner structure demonstrably shows how important “together” now plays a role. We will present offshore renewable energy projects that have not yet been seen at other events. The main topic will be “Supply chains in the global offshore wind industry”. For this we have invited Hans Gatzemeier, CEO ELA Offshore Container and Dr. Markus Stuhlert, CEO Plarad. Both companies are global leaders in their fields.”

Q: The next Blue Beach is scheduled for June 23rd, 2022. What are your expectations for the next year’s event?

Nölting: ”In any case, after the successful placement of THE BLUE BEACH in the German event market, we would now like to take our gaze abroad. In the first step, we are deliberately addressing the target group of offshore players in Holland. We see the biggest opportunity here to develop a new target group alongside the Danes.

Therefore, the topic of offshore and suppliers plays an essential role on the one hand in the program design and addressing the target group. In 2022, we want to give the players a new opportunity to present “new faces” for the development of their business activities in renewable energies. But in a high-class event with a strong hands-on mentality. For 2022 we expect between 500-600 participants. We will indeed also address topics such as hydrogen, innovative projects and think outside the box: what concepts do sports like the German Football League or Formula E have? It is an exciting mix of topics between topics that can help our participants in their business as information and also broaden their horizons for topics on the holistic energy transition. Ultimately, we expect a significant increase in the number of participants again. To this end, we have been able to win the Hamburg Energy Cluster as a strong partner, among others, who will recommend THE BLUE BEACH to their 200 member companies.

The City of Hamburg also supports THE BLUE BEACH, because they want to continue to show that the city of Hamburg is one of the most important cities worldwide for the energy transition. State Councillor Andreas Rieckhof affirmed among other things in his opening speech this year: “When we talk about the energy turnaround, when we want to drastically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonise our Hamburg and North German economy and industry, we cannot avoid green hydrogen”.

ELA Offshore Container gives us the opportunity as one of our main sponsors to generate a new clientele through their existing contacts in the offshore segment on the one hand and to make THE BLUE BEACH more international on the other.”

Q: This will be your first time attending OEEC. What synergies do you see between the two events?

”In fact, this is my first participation. CEO Hans Gatzmeier highly recommended the OEEC to me. Because at OEEC we find exactly our target group of the most important offshore players. And this is exactly where I see the strongest synergy between the OCCE and THE BLUE BEACH: The OCCE gives its exhibitors and trade fair visitors an option to offer a networking platform at an atractive location in Germany in addition to its comprehensive services. The formats do not cannibalise each other, quite the opposite. The partnership again clearly shows how much the factor “together” is gaining in importance for the success of the energy transition. Of course, we know that despite all the euphoria, it is ultimately a matter of sound business sense. OCCE and THE BLUE BEACH are convinced that this will only work in the future with face-to-face meetings and that the quality of networking has increased. And that is exactly our common attribute: to offer quality to our visitors.”

The cluster agency Renewable Energy Hamburg is part of THE BLUE BEACH. Renewable Energy Hamburg gathers member companies such as TÜV Nord, DNV, RWE, Vattenfall, Chatham Partners, Siemens Gamesa, Ørsted, Hogan Llovels, and others.

Astrid Dose, Deputy Managing Director at Renewable Energy Hamburg provided us with more details about the agency and its involvement with THE BLUE BEACH.

Q: Tell us more about the agency and what it does? How does Blue Beach fit within the scope of what you do?

Dose: ”The cluster agency Renewable Energy Hamburg was founded almost eleven years ago by the Free Hanseatic City of Hamburg. We belong to the so-called cluster strategy of the Hamburg Ministry of Economics and Innovation serving various key industries of the city such as aviation, logistics, maritime sector and renewables. Our goal is to support the industry and to convince companies to establish offices in the City of Hamburg thus strengthening the local economy. Our main topics right now are geothermal energy, hydrogen, onshore and offshore wind, sector coupling and solar energy. About 200 companies belong to our network.

The concept of Blue Beach plays a very important role for us since we are a network of companies and people which urgently need places to meet and to interact such as the Blue Beach in 2021 and in 2022. Great ideas only evolve through people communicating with each other.”

Q: How important do you feel the gatherings such as OEEC and the Blue Beach are for the offshore energy industry?

DOSE: ”These gatherings are very important since people long to communicate with each other in order to share ideas and to create new projects and concepts. People working for the offshore industry are very creative, ambitious and curious.”

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