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Svanehøj: Pumped up about new fuel possibilities

Aalborg-based marine pump manufacture Svanehøj is making efforts to expand its product portfolio in order to meet the growing interest in the shipping industry for alternative clean fuels.

Svanehøj ‘s histrory dates back to 1928 when it was founded by Danish marine engineer F. Dam and since then it has been a major manufacturer of specialised deepwell pumps for the marine, oil, and gas industry.

In 1993, Svanehøj was acquired by Hamworthy Pumps which was acquired by Wärtsilä 20 years later. The two brands stayed under Wärtsilä ownership until the end of 2018, where they were acquired by an investment company, and Svanehøj Group was founded as the parent company.

Soren Nielsen, CEO of Svanehøj, says the company’s most significant milestone in recent years is the deepwell fuel pump for gas which enables ships to comply with current and future climate regulations. The pump is developed for LNG, but it is fully compatible with other liquid gas fuels such as ethane, ammonia and LPG, as well as synthetic carbon-free electrofuels.

Nielsen joined Svanehøj as CEO in March 2019 after seven years as CEO at Hydratech Industries.

Nielsen reckons an efficient and reliable cargo pump system is crucial to tanker operations including liquefied cargo discharging and the company’s unique deepwell design allows the pump’s electrical motor to be located outside the tank, which offers several advantages including easy maintenance and optimised fuel consumption.

“Besides that, we offer products that are part of the solution to the challenges that the marine industry will face in the coming years, where emissions of sulphur and CO2 must be drastically reduced,” Nielsen says.

The company is currently working on developing new concepts and Nielsen sees great potential in LNG cargo handling.

“So far we have concentrated our efforts in this segment on developing cargo pumps for smaller vessels under 45,000 cu m. But in collaboration with some of our large customers, we are currently working on solutions for very large LNG carriers,” Nielsen reveals.

The project is based on a new pump solution, which the company has recently developed for six new VLECs which are to be LNG-ready.

“The results show that our solution helps to ensure 15% more ethane shipments per year compared to first generation VLEC’s,” Nielsen says.

According to Nielsen, Svanehøj Group aims to contribute to a cleaner world by offering technical solutions that match the conversion to cleaner energy types. The strategy was launched in 2018 with the goal of tripling revenue by 2023.

“We are well on our way. From 2018 to 2019, we succeeded in increasing revenue by 66%, and despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, we expect further growth in 2020,” Nielsen says.

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