SVANEHØJ, which is located in Aalborg, Denmark, has secured an order from Samsung Heavy Industries for a total of 42 pumps for 3 new Very Large Ethane Carriers (VLEC). The ships have been ordered by the Chinese company Zhejiang Satellite Petrochemical and will be used to carry liquid ethane from Texas, USA, to the company’s petrochemical terminal in Lianyungang, China.
The order includes 24 offloading pumps, 12 spray pumps and 6 fuel pumps, all of which will be manufactured in Denmark and delivered to Samsung Heavy Industries in Korea within the first six months of 2020.
– 3-4 years ago we predicted that there would be opportunities in this area as the international demand for ethane for the production of plastics has risen. Together with our French partner, GTT, we have worked to develop solutions specifically for these VLECs, and we are now beginning to see the results, says Sales Director Hans Høyer Jensen from SVANEHØJ.
New sulphur requirements increase demand
The order strengthens the positive development that SVANEHØJ has experienced since investment company Solix bought Wärtsilä Pumps from Finnish Wärtsilä Group in the autumn of 2018 and established Svanehøj Group with companies in Denmark, UK and Singapore.
It is not least new international requirements for ships’ sulphur emissions that are increasing activity and creating expectations of further growth at Svanehøj Group. With effect from 1 January 2020, the limit for sulphur in marine fuel will be reduced from 3.5% to 0.5%. This will increase demand for technology that can make ships capable of sailing on gas instead of high-polluting heavy fuel oil (HFO).
– Projections show that almost a third of ships in 2030 will sail on ethane or natural gas. So we definitely expect many more people to start looking in our direction when they need to build ships that meet the new requirements. It is a potentially massive market for us which we are already in the process of supplying, says Hans Høyer Jensen.
He also highlights the market for scrubber systems as an area in which SVANEHØJ, through its sister company Hamworthy Pumps in Singapore, has the skills and resources to meet expected increased demand.
A strong signal
SVANEHØJ has previously supplied pump systems for ships that transport ethane, but not ships as large as the ones in this case. When the order is made by one of the world’s largest shipbuilders, it also has significant importance for SVANEHØJ’s position in the market:
– The order is a notable recognition of our expertise and a strong signal that SVANEHØJ is a competitive supplier of pumps for membrane tanks on a vast scale, says Hans Høyer Jensen.