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Breakbulk keynote speaker calls for creative solutions

October 26 - Giga projects are the new landscape of the heavy lift marketplace, and logistics is "even more critical than ever before to EPC success", according to John Mika, senior vice president of procurement, CH2M HILL, reports HLPFI editor, Emma Murr

"Taking on these monsters is one of the new challenges," he told delegates at the 22nd annual Breakbulk Americas Transportation Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans, USA, on Tuesday (26th October),"...we need creative solutions."

"We have been talking about mega projects, but now we are talking about giga projects, tens of millions of dollars, and the size, risk, and scale of them is the challenge.

"We need your help, your knowledge, and your expertise."

In a call to arms to the industry, Mika said there was a climate of concern, with the global economic situation best described as a marble rolling along a razor blade, but that the outlook for total global capex was nonetheless "robust and pretty healthy."

The outlook for the oil, gas, and chemicals sector was strong, despite not meeting expectations, he said, whilst the mining and power sectors were "really taking off".

The civil sector was performing "better than expected", he added, citing the 2022 football World Cup in Qatar, involving a USD90 billion investment, as "just one example".

"There are risks and influences that we have to face, including supplier performance and global dispersion of the supply chain, which brings its own complexities, adding to delays, and introducing new risks of fraud and counterfeit on a scale we have not seen before, " he said.

"Global challenges include the size and complexity of projects, attracting and retaining staff, remote and challenging locations, and local labour shortage."

He said the industry needed to be sure it could continue to be ready for impending expansion, although he cautioned that there was still a 40 percent chance of a double dip recession.

More on the Breakbulk Americas conference in the next issue of HLPFI.

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