IBIA elects new chairman and launches new website

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Mike Ball has been elected to succeed Chris Fisher as chairman of the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA), with effect from April 2010. Currently manager of the bunker department at Gearbulk (UK) Ltd, Ball has extensive experience as a seagoing engineer officer and is a former director of H Clarksons, with responsibility for its bunker broking desk.

Speaking at the sixteenth IBIA annual dinner in London on February 15, Mike Ball said: “I am deeply honoured and privileged to be assuming the chairmanship of IBIA. My aim is to make IBIA even more accessible than it already is.” Urging members to communicate their news and concerns on a regular basis, he stressed, “If we do not become involved in those issues which impact on our members, we face the increasing risk that our industry will be exposed to rules, regulations and standards imposed by third-party bodies which do not understand how we work, and over which we have little control.”

The speed and quality of communication between members has now been enhanced by the launch of a new, user-friendly IBIA website which includes, among other initiatives, a paperless billing facility. Ball urged members to make use of the new website’s sophisticated facilities. He also emphasised that IBIA is growing, both in terms of numbers of members and its visibility to global markets. Noting that IBIA now has in place a very proactive executive committee in Singapore, in addition to its existing South African branch, he concluded, “This increasing representation in local markets is a sure indication of IBIA’s growth.”

Ball also revealed that work was continuing at IBIA which was expected to lead to the establishment of an internationally recognised professional qualification for the bunkering industry.