Recent weeks have seen important developments at leading manufacturers of thrusters Brunvoll and Rolls-Royce Marine
In late April 2017, Brunvoll in Norway signed an agreement with Incus Investor to acquire all of the shares in Scana Propulsion, including subsidiaries Scana Volda and Scana Mar-El, all of which are in Norway, and three sales companies in the US, Singapore and China.
Brunvoll Holding has also signed an option agreement for the acquisition of Scana Volda AS Real Estate, which owns the manufacturing and office facilities of Scana Volda AS.
Brunvoll supplies thruster units to the global market and is a family-owned company with a head office and production facility in Molde. Over the years, it has supplied many thrusters for offshore vessels and a wide range of other ships, such as ferries.
Company chairman Arthur Brunvoll said the deal showed that the company is “thinking long term” and would like to develop Brunvoll to meet the market with a broader product portfolio. “We have a stated strategy where quality in all aspects of development and production with a high degree of automation will happen in Norway are central,” he said.
Scana Propulsion AS is a supplier of gear and propeller systems with associated control systems and has a complementary product range to Brunvoll.
Odd Tore Finnøy, CEO at Brunvoll, said the acquisition “is a strategic move” in which the aim “is to create a win-win situation for both companies, which will offer our customers even better, more comprehensive solutions”.
“Customers demand complete and comprehensive solutions, with low life cycle costs and energy efficiency. We are strengthening our position in the market with this acquisition,” Mr Finnøy concluded.
Another well known manufacturer of thrusters, Rolls-Royce Marine, recently announced a major programme of investment in its azimuth thruster production facility in Rauma, Finland, consolidating assembly and test capability and modernising the operation to position the business for future growth opportunities.
The €57 million (US$62.2 million) project will include a major rebuild of existing facilities, the transfer of thruster assembly and testing on to one site from the existing two locations and a significant investment in new equipment.
Rauma produces a wide range of mechanical azimuth thrusters for use across a number of applications, including semi-submersible drilling rigs and drill ships, tugs and offshore vessels, to icebreakers and polar research ships.
Olli Rantanen, managing director Finland, noted that, since the first azimuth thruster was developed in Rauma more than 50 years ago, they had become the standard choice for customers demanding very high levels of reliability, power and performance, often in extremely challenging environments. “The investment will allow us to plan for the future, enable us to efficiently produce our existing range and develop new and larger thrusters,” he said.
The largest and most powerful thrusters in the company’s range are the ARC type, which power icebreakers such as Finland’s Fennica and Nordica. They are among the largest products produced by Rolls-Royce, and each weigh up to 190 tonnes, providing 7.5 MW of power.
The work to transform Rauma is now underway and is due to be completed in 2020.
Next phase of low noise thruster project getting underway
The next phase is getting underway of a joint industry project (JIP) concerning the development of low noise tunnel thrusters: the Wageningen TT-series. The main objective is to develop a method to select and design, as well as to assess the side force performance, vibration excitation and radiated noise of tunnel thrusters (gear or rim driven), whilst also taking into account the effects of the shape of tunnel ends, length, grid bars and local inclination of the ship hull. The output of the project will be delivered in the form of easy-to-apply software that is similar to what has been developed for the Wageningen CD Series JIP.
Maritime Research Institute Netherlands said that, this year, the propeller series will be designed and manufactured. Testing will start in late 2017 and is expected to take until spring 2018. The design and assessment software tool will be completed soon after that, meaning that the project is finished in the second half of 2018.