Norway's Government wants to make Norwegian solutions international standards by exporting the country's maritime expertise
Given the country’s extensive maritime heritage and continuing involvement in areas such as offshore energy, fishing and other ocean-based areas, it is not surprising that ocean-based exports are key to the Norwegian export industry.
The petroleum, maritime and marine industries together account for 70% of Norwegian export income, according to the country’s internationalisation and export strategy released in December 2017
The US, Brazil, China, Australia and ‘European countries’ were identified as key existing markets for Norwegian maritime exporters in the document, with China, Korea, Singapore, Brazil and Japan, with their strong shipbuilding sectors, identified as being of vital importance.
Citing data from recent years, the report noted that in 2015 gross freight from international shipping constituted 7.2% and 25%, respectively, of total Norwegian exports of goods and services, with international maritime traffic constituting the largest export industry overall. In 2016 direct exports from equipment manufacturers accounted for more than 60% of maritime export revenue, which in 2013 was valued at Nkr233Bn (US$28Bn).
“The maritime industries have been, are and will be important to the development and value creation in the ocean industries as providers of goods, services and competence,” the report said.
Norway can benefit by sharing its competence in ocean industries with other countries, the report noted, adding “knowledge of maritime administration, sustainable management and resource utilisation from the ocean and the continental shelf is an export product in itself.”
The government set out several measures intended to ensure “long-term and stable framework conditions for the maritime industry” in the document, with one measure being to “work to turn good Norwegian solutions into international standards”.
The Explorer, launched this year, will hopefully further this goal. Developed in collaboration between the Norwegian Government, Innovation Norway, Sustainia, DNV GL and the UN Global Compact, the digital showroom provides a space for Norwegian companies to present green and sustainable solutions to the world. Visitors to the Solutions section can search by topics such as Energy, Ocean industries and High technology, to name just three, to find details of Norwegian companies providing services and products in these areas.
IMO ballast water convention brings BWT boom
A Norwegian solution that is arguably already an international standard is Optimarin, a Sandnes-based provider of ballast water treatment (BWT) systems. The company installed the first BWT in the world aboard cruise ship Regal Princess in 2000.
Optimarin reported booming business in May and said it expected 2018 to overtake 2017 as its “best-ever year in business.” It added it had sold almost 60 of its Optimarin Ballast Systems (OBS) in the previous year and had contracts in its orderbook to provide a further 50, with recent customers including Besiktas Shipping in Turkey, Eureka Shipping in Cyprus, Japanese chemical tanker firm Koyo Kaiun and Germany-based Ahrenkiel Steamship.
Optimarin’s US Coast Guard-certified BWT is environmentally friendly, utilising UV chambers to kill or inactivate any organisms, bacteria and pathogens present in ballast water.
IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention coming into force in September of 2017 is a major driver for much of this business, noted Optimarin chief executive Tore Andersen, saying “Shipowners and operators are now being galvanised into action by the ratification of IMO’s Ballast Water Management convention and the need to conform.”
“This is excellent news for the environment and a positive development for those of us in the BWT sector that have invested many millions of dollars in testing, certifying and bringing our systems to market,” he added.
Mr Andersen believes the company’s status as an established name in the BWT space has been a driver of sales, noting “This may be a relatively new regulation, but our customers want established solutions they know they can rely on.”
US research vessel and Russian trawlers to mount Norwegian deck gear
Bodø-based deck machinery specialist Rapp Marine has been picked as single-source vendor for Oregon State University’s new research vessel’s overboard handling system with options for a further two vessels, as well as providing deck machinery for seven new factory trawlers.
The multi-mission regional class research vessel (RCRV) is being built by Gulf Island Shipyard in Louisiana. The project is being funded by the National Science Foundation and the contract design for the RCRV was carried out by Glosten.
The equipment to be provided by Rapp will be used for science mission and cargo-handling operations. It will comprise the oceanographic, hydrographic and portable winch systems for the vessel, which will supply tension members for the vessel’s handling apparatus. The equipment will incorporate Rapp systems such as electric variable frequency drives, active heave compensation and wireless control chest packs with CCTV display feeds.
Explaining the decision to pick Rapp, RCRV project manager Demian Bailey said “Rapp has a reputation for delivering highly capable, dependable, and well supported products and is a great fit for our programme. These handling systems and controls will be at the core of these highly capable next-generation research vessels.”
Murmanseld 2 is looking to Rapp to provide a full range of deck machinery to outfit seven new factory trawlers. Tromsø’s Cramaco is designing the trawlers with three being built at the Pella shipyard in St Petersburg and four at the Yantar shipyard in Kaliningrad.
Demand for compressors across regions and sectors
When Royal Carribean International’s Symphony of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world, set sail this year it did so with a TMC marine compressor system aboard.
The 18-deck ship can accommodate more than 6,600 passengers and a crew of 2,200. With a gross tonnage of 228,081 tonnes, it measures 361 m long by 65.7 m wide and STX France took took 36 months to built it. From November this year it will operate in both eastern and western areas of the Caribbean from its home port of Miami.
“Every contract we sign and delivery we make is equally important in its own right, but we gladly admit that it is particularly cool that our equipment is providing service and working air on board the world’s biggest cruise ship,” said TMC director of sales and business development Hans Petter Tanum.
TMC has seen demand for its systems across a range of geographical areas and sectors. It has signed multiple contracts with Hyundai Heavy Industries this year to provide compressed air systems for vessels including Teekay Offshore’s four LNG-fuelled shuttle tankers, three LNG carriers being built for TMS Cardiff Gas, and two separate contracts for a Swan Energy floating storage and regasification unit.
Other customers have included Dutch yard UHC, building an integrated reel-lay vessel for UK-based Subsea 7, and Keppel Amfels, who picked TMC to provide systems for two new LNG-fuelled container vessels under construction for Pasha Hawaii. Mr Tanum said “It is always nice to be involved with vessels that are designed to keep both operational costs and harmful emissions to air to a minimum.
“Not only is it good for our planet, but it is great to see that TMC’s compressor systems – with their low energy usage and high level of reliability – seem to be the favoured solution for such vessels,” he added.