The first stop of the tour was Singapore, where a workshop with the Servogear representatives in the region were on the agenda.
– Our representatives and their partners are important to us. They promote our technology and provide leads. From there on the global Servogear sales force take over. The closer ties we have with the representatives, the better job they do for us, Servogear sales manager, Svein-Helge Natterøy says.
Market demand for green solutions
He went to Asia with Servogear CEO Torleif Stokke. In Singapore, the representatives got their first chance to meet Servogear’s new salesperson (link).
– It is very useful to meet them in person. I was already familiar with the markets and many of the customers, but it is the first time I go to Asia with my “Servogear hat” on. It has been a very rewarding journey. The market seems interested in investing in greener solutions for their vessels, he says.
Focusing on life-cycle costs
In Hong Kong you find an especially high density of fast ferries. A new bridge between Hong Kong and mainland China has removed some of the passenger basis in the area. This put the operators profitability under pressure
– Many shipyards are of course still focusing on price, but we see that operators focus more and more on life-cycle costs. This means that energy-efficient propulsion systems such as the Servogear Ecoflow propulsor has an advantage. Lowering fuel costs is a huge incitement to initiate new investments, Natterøy says.
– We expect many older and in-efficient fast ferries to be replaced by energy-efficient new vessels. Vessels in this area is often large, with 450 passengers, 40-45 knots transit speed and 10 000 kilowatts combined output from the engines. There are also many fast ferries with a passenger capacity of 250 passengers and transit speed of 39-45 knots. Operators often want to replace waterjets with controllable pitch propellers, since reducing fuel consumptions is a major issue for them.
Attractive Chinese market
On the last stop of the Asian tour, Guangzhou in China, Servogear met up with the Afai Southern Shipyard, that has built several vessels with Servogear technology.
– We got a chance to enter one of the vessels. The shipyard and operator seem very pleased with the performance of the vessels, Natterøy says.
Servogear also got to meet representatives of Brødrene Aa’s new Sinoway shipyard in Guangzhou, established to provide the Chinese market with carbon fibre composite fast ferries. The shipyard is a joint venture between Norway based Brødrene Aa Eigedom Hong Kong and Guangdong Bonny Fair Heavy Industry.
– We have been involved in Brødrene Aa’s projects for decades, and we would off course very much like to be considered as a supplier when they build their vessels for the Chinese market. There are predictions that this market could invest in as many as 400 new fast ferries in the years to come, which makes it very attractive for anyone involved in this industry, Svein-Helge Natterøy says.
PS! You can meet Servogear at LIMA in Malaysia March 26-30. LIMA is one of the most influential shows within the maritime and aerospace industries.