Norwegian workhorses in Chinese waters
When the Fujian Provincial Law Enforcement Team of Ocean and Fisheries needed five new boats, the order went to Helgeland Plast. “We're seeing good interest from China, so this is definitely not the last order we'll see from there,” says John Atle Figenschau, sales manager for Polarcirkel boats.
Helgeland Plast AS, one of AKVA group's subsidiaries, has through it's distributor in China, Beijing Fitwell Technology Co. Ltd., received an order for and produced five Polarcirkel 685 Work boats with inboard Volvo D3 220 horsepower diesel engines and DPH drive units. Two of the boats have already been delivered, and the remaining three will be sent eastwards at the July/August turn of the month.
“These boats will be used for supervision of the coastal fisheries in the Fujian province. These are good workhorses that are very stable durable and safe, in addition to being able to maintain relatively high speeds. The Polarcirkel Work boats have been tested in extreme weather conditions, and are the first choice for everyone who has their everyday workplace at sea,” John Atle Figenschau claims, and says that five boats have been inspected and certified by the China Classification Society.
Potential for global growth
This order from China is worth NOK 3.1 million, and shows why it is important that Helgeland Plast approaches the global market, although sales figures in Norway have shown steady growth over the last five years.
“We are in a growth phase and aim to produce up to 150 boats a year going forward. For this reason it's important to increase our share of exports. Now we have orders for 10 to 15 boats a year from Chinese customers, in addition to customers from Scotland, Brazil, Africa and the Mediterranean countries. There's no doubt that there's potential for even more activity abroad. The interest is there, and the customers we have usually return with with further orders.
The Polarcirkel boats have become a hit both at home and abroad due to their unique properties, and because they are virtually maintenance-free.
– The boat design is used for preparedness, by fish farmers, subsea contractors, the offshore industry, tourist industry and a range of other private and public players. Another reason customers all over the world prefer us is that we can tailor the boats in ways others cannot, and that guarantees that the boat is tailored for the tasks it is destined to perform,” Figenschau says.
He says that the order books are quite full at the moment, but invites anyone with an interest to get in touch to enquire how Helgeland Plast can help them create even beter workplaces at sea.