A symbol of forward vision

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche

02 September 2016

To regular visitors to SMM the propeller that stands outside the main entrance has become an enduring memory of the exhibition and an official symbol of SMM. However, maybe not all realise that it is a different propeller on each occasion.

The specimen on display this year, made by Mecklenburger Metallguss GmbH (MMG), weighs in at 48.7 tonnes, and measuring more than 8 metres in diameter. When the fair is over, it will be installed on the 275-metre container ship MSC Lorena, replacing the vessel's original propeller.

Manfred Urban, CEO of MMG , explains: "The new propeller will be delivered with a finned boss cap which enables further energy savings and helps reduce the ship’s CO2 emissions. Assuming a consumption of 100 tonnes of heavy fuel oil per day, the new propeller will cut the CO2 emissions by one tonne per hour travelled. This is equivalent to the amount emitted by a passenger car traveling 6500 km."

The propeller thus represents a significant step towards Green Propulsion, a major topic on the agenda of SMM 2016. To provide more exhibition space for innovative propulsion technologies, the fair organizers have erected the new Hall A5, which adds 3,500 square metres.

A number of symbols have become associated with maritime ventures over the years with an anchor probably being the most common but propellers also have their supporters. One such was Roy Davies the now retired head of container operator MSC’s operations in the UK who had a propeller placed outside the company’s office in Ipswich. He would always say to questions about why he had not chosen an anchor, “A propeller keeps a ship moving forward but an anchor is designed to stop it. We don’t want to stop we want to be a forward looking organisation”. An admirable sentiment and one that applies equally to SMM and the companies that will be exhibiting there.