A new regional section is being established by the International Marine Contractors Association. The Central & South America Section will focus on Rio de Janeiro and Brazil initially and gradually develop to encompass the entire region. This is IMCA's fifth regional section - the others being Americas Deepwater (now renamed 'North America'), Europe & Africa, Middle East & India and Asia-Pacific.
"IMCA has had members in Central and South America for a number of years," explains Hugh Williams, Chief Executive of IMCA. "This new section will ensure they benefit from all the association has to offer. Up until now, member companies based in the region have been part of the Americas Deepwater Section, but rather remote from the section meetings generally held in Houston. Central & South America plays such a crucial role in the offshore oil and gas industry, we feel the time is right to ensure that members of this region have the opportunity to stage their own meetings; and can take part in the dialogue that establishes IMCA's work programme, by having their own section.
"In time the section will encompass the rest of Central and Southern America. Already many of our key guidance documents are being translated into local Portuguese and Spanish to ensure total involvement by companies in the region.
"Importantly, we are eager to encourage knowledge sharing between Brazil and the rest of the world; and the rest of the world and Brazil together with neighbouring countries. Our seventeenth annual seminar, being held in Rio de Janeiro this November, will play an important role in establishing this vital 'two-way-traffic'. Before that, we will be holding an IMCA briefing seminar on 1 July in Rio de Janeiro for members, prospective members and guests."
IMCA's regional sections enable members to address issues specific to their local area and ensure the global applicability of the association's world-wide activities. Regular meetings bring members together to discuss current topics and initiatives, often with guest speakers and opportunities for those interested in membership, clients, regulators and other interested parties to join members for presentations and briefing.