SMM 2024 and WindEnergy Hamburg: Opportunities for Japanese shipowners and yards

The energy transition is confronting the maritime industry with major challenges. The drive to expand of wind energy is considered as an important interface with the wind industry. Two international flagship fairs, SMM and WindEnergy Hamburg, showcase the entire value chain of both industries, offering visitors from Japan true added value for their business.

Tokyo, 2024-04-11 – “Those who travel to Hamburg next September will be able to meet international exhibitors, explore state-of-the-art technologies, and attend conferences featuring renowned speakers and attractive networking events at two global flagship fairs. The internationality and variety of exhibitors and visitors at SMM and WindEnergy Hamburg are unique worldwide,” said Claus Ulrich Selbach, Business Unit Director – Maritime and Technology Fairs & Exhibitions at Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH, at SEA Japan. The two largest trade fairs of the maritime und wind energy industries, SMM and WindEnergy Hamburg, take place within a period of just three weeks. Visitors can benefit from synergies between both events, Selbach pointed out: “The topics are closely linked: The shipping sector needs green hydrogen which can be produced using clean wind energy; and the construction and maintenance of offshore wind farms depends on specialised ships. And naturally, both industries are united by a common goal: a successful energy transition.”


SMM: Massive market potential for Japanese companies

The business community is showing strong interest: From 3 to 6 September 2024, SMMwill welcome more than40,000 participants from 100 countries to an exhibition extending across 90,000 m². There will be more than 2,000 international exhibitors, one tenth of them hailing from Asia. Around 30 Japanese companies will be present, including names such as ClassNK, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Terasaki Electric. When it comes to efficient ship operation, Japanese shipyards take one of the top spots: 55 per cent of ships built in Japan receive high Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) ratings – substantially more than those of major competitors in Asia. “Yet, the world’s third-largest shipbuilding nation is under pressure, especially from the continuing expansion of the Chinese shipbuilding industry,” saysHauke Schlegel, Managing Director, VDMA Marine Equipment and Systems. Around the world the demand for low-emission, high-efficiency ships is developing vigorously. “SMM is the perfect platform for this market – this is where international shipowners will meet leading suppliers that can provide the right technical equipment,” says Schlegel. One of them, the long-established Mecklenburger Metallguss (MMG), is a successful provider of innovative retrofit propellers. “An optimised propeller can reduce fuel consumption by eight to ten per cent. Between 2013 and 2023, ships equipped with our propellers avoided 14 million tonnes of CO2 emissions,” says MMG CEO Lars Greitsch.

The main topics at SMM 2024 will address key needs of the industry: In recognition of the growing importance of smart innovations, SMM will provide a section specifically dedicated to Artificial Intelligence for the first time. At the AI CENTER, exhibitors will highlight the supply industry’s latest AI technologies and projects. As a novel service, access to all conferences, including the highly-regarded environmental congress gmec, will be free for all fair visitors. Experts will discuss essential topics such as the pros and cons of various alternative fuels.


WindEnergy Hamburg: Experienced exhibitors

After all, Mission Zero Emission takes more than efficient ship operation. Alternative fuels produced using renewable energy are an absolute must. However, the need for green energy sources will be gigantic: Ways to expand wind energy capacities both dynamically and economically will be on the agenda of WindEnergy Hamburg from 24 to 27 September 2024. “One of the ways to get there is repowering, which means replacing wind turbines that have reached the end of their lifespan with much more powerful new units,” explained Selbach. At WindEnergy Hamburg, decision-makers will meet the right partners for implementing repowering projects. From experienced equipment and component manufacturers to project developers and operators, and through to scientists and politicians, Selbach expects around 40,000 visitors from 100 countries, and over 1,500 exhibitors from 40 nations, including the Japanese companies Denzai and Nabtesco as well as the Japan Wind Power Association.

One of the key topics covered at WindEnergy Hamburg this year will be powerful energy storage technologies, which are becoming more and more important for the world’s energy future.  Artificial Intelligence in the servicing and maintenance business will be in focus at the freely accessible conferences: “More efficient rotor blades, smart controllers and turbines – the potential is huge," says Selbach. But there will also be numerous sessions on other game-changing technologies, such as production, storage and transport of green hydrogen by offshore wind farms.


This is a topic of special interest to Japan. The nation wants to expand its offshore wind energy capacity to ten gigawatts by 2030 but lacks domestic wind turbine manufacturers. “The sea floor below Japan’s coastal waters drops off sharply, which means that floating wind turbines will be necessary sooner or later to support massive expansion of wind energy. In this field, Europe is the leader. First-movers such as RWE and EnBW will exhibit their solutions at WindEnergy Hamburg,” says Selbach.


“We are looking forward to two international top events: Japanese and European companies stand to benefit from both SMM and WindEnergy Hamburg,” summarises Claus Ulrich Selbach.


About SMM

The leading international maritime trade fair takes place in Hamburg from 3 to 6 September 2024. More than 2,000 exhibiting companies and around 40,000 visitors from over 100 countries are expected to attend. Covering the entire value chain of the maritime industry on 90,000 m² in eleven exhibition halls, SMM is the world’s foremost platform for innovation and the latest technologies in the maritime sector that brings together business leaders from around the world. Themed “SMM – driving the maritime transition”, the 31st SMM will focus on the maritime energy transition and the digital transformation. An attractive conference programme and a wide range of networking opportunities will supplement the exhibition. For the first time, the conferences will take place on open stages inside the exhibition halls – free of charge, and accessible to all fair visitors.


About WindEnergy Hamburg

Every two years one of the most fascinating industries meets for the leading global networking event for wind energy: At WindEnergy Hamburg, which takes place right in the heart of the vibrant northern German port city, around 1,500 companies from 40 countries present their innovations and solutions in ten exhibition halls to up to 40,000 visitors from 100 different nations. Covering 73,500 m² across the exhibition campus, equipment manufacturers and suppliers representing all stages of the onshore and offshore wind energy value chain provide a comprehensive overview of the market. The trade fair is accompanied by conference sessions where top-ranking experts address the industry's current key topics. The WindEnergy Hamburg team develop this programme jointly with their partners, including the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the European organisation WindEurope, the national industry associations VDMA and BWE, leading industry media, and companies from the wind energy sector. From 24 until 27 September 2024, all conference sessions will take place free of charge on five open stages located inside the exhibition halls.


Nele Bruns
PR Manager
T. +49 40 3569-2439


Uta Westermann
PR Manager WindEnergy Hamburg
T. +49 40 3569-2098
Uta Westermann