Military hardware

Established in 1972, Remøy Management is a ship agency firm based in Fosnavag, Norway, and the management division of a wider Remøy group of companies. Founder and chairman Ståle Remøy has extensive maritime experience: since the age of 15 he has been a fisherman and skipper in waters around the world including Africa, the North Sea and the Antarctic. Using this experience, he set up Remøy Management to provide innovative and reliable services to the Norwegian marine sector.

Quality manager Knut Strand discusses Remøy Management’s current capabilities: “Today we manage eight vessels, six of which are for the Norwegian Coast Guard. The country’s coast is covered by what is called the ‘Inner Coast Guard’, which operates within the fjord systems and along the coast; three of our vessels are being used for this purpose and the oldest one is four years old. The other three vessels are large, 92-metre ships that patrol Norwegian territorial waters all the way from Oslo, past Spitsbergen to the dividing line between Norway and the Barents. The seventh vessel is a small training boat for the armed forces and the eighth is a krill trawler currently operating in Antarctic waters.”

The names of the three Inner Coast Guard boats are KV Nornen, KV Tor and KV Heimdal whilst the three large ships are named KV Barentshav, KV Bergen and KV Sortland and all are newly built. The training vessel, Olav Tryggvason – named after a Viking King of 1000 b.c. – is brand new and part of the Reine Class of two vessels based on the Nornen Class (KV Nornen) model, while boasting an additional 2.5-metres in length and a covered bow. This impressive asset is due to be named by Her Majesty the Queen of Norway on the 17th December 2010 in Oslo and will be used for training the home forces based throughout the Norwegian coast.

One of the most important aspects of the company is its commitment to innovation. Since beginning, Remøy Management has been a leading figure in handling cutting edge ship engineering, for example being an early adopter of diesel-electric engines. Continuing this pioneering spirit, the company’s current fleet has a number of technological advances that make it stand out.

The krill trawler Thorshøvdi, for example, is an original build for fishing vessels of its type. Designed specifically for the purposes of fishing for krill in icy Antarctic waters, it possesses an ice-strengthened double hull for extra safety and has been fitted with equipment that supports fishing and onboard production in a region with limited logistical support or facilities. Making 100 per cent use of the krill it captures, the boat produces 250 tonnes of produce a day and is operated by subsidiary Remøy Krillsea.

Perhaps the most significant development however is its use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to power its three 92-metre sea rescue ships during standard patrol operations. Because LNG engines require low power usage, being able to operate a large ship on power levels as low as 35 to 40 kilowatts, it is not only incredibly cost effective but environmentally friendly too. Nonetheless, should extra power be needed the three ships are fitted with Rolls-Royce diesel engines that can back up the LNG engines and propel them at top speed. The general use of LNG, however, means nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions are reduced by approximately 90 per cent and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 20 per cent compared to conventionally powered vessels of a similar size. This is in compliance with the Norwegian Government’s pledge to reduce the country’s toxic emissions by one third between 1999 and 2010.

“It was an agreement between the Coast Guard and us that environmentally friendly vessels were the solution,” Knut comments. “Of course, though LNG is still relatively rare in the marine sector, there is coastal LNG refuelling stations both in north Norway where two of the ships operate and in Bergen where the third is situated. Furthermore, through the combination LNG-diesel engine, they are some of the first vessels in Norway to be able to operate in all ocean conditions.”

He also highlights a further practical benefit of the ships: “All three of them are part of a submarine rescue scheme participated in by Britain, France, Norway and, to a lesser extent, Sweden. The scheme involves a complete rescue kit including a16-person rescue submersible and decompression chamber that can be transported across Europe by aeroplane and deposited directly onto the deck of a vessel. Our ships are able to support this function and, in a test that was carried out in Glasgow a couple of months ago, where the kit was offloaded and the submarine went through docking procedures, they were described as the best of the lot. They allowed for the kit to be assembled and disassembled quicker than other ships.”

Remøy Management operates in a relatively niche market, with the market for Coast Guard and Antarctic trawler vessels being a limited one. Considering this, however, the company has performed incredibly well and grown quickly over the last few years. Putting seven new vessels into operation over the last four years, each belonging to major contracts, has seen it remain stable even through the financial crisis. Furthermore, with LNG engines becoming a key future development for the marine industry, Remøy has already begun laying down roots with this technology to ensure it remains at the forefront of the industry.

“In four or five years time we might want to consolidate before we go further,” Knut explains, “and we are always looking for new opportunities. We are specialised at the moment in the area of battle vessels but of course are keeping our eyes open for alternative markets that present chances.”

He concludes: “I’m not sure if there are other countries in which military vessels are hired from private companies but if there are then we will be interested in looking into that. At the moment our contracts are 15-year agreements, which means another 11 years before the vessels are available again, but if there are other regions where similar services are required then we will investigate.”

Close relationship with the Norwegian Coast Guard

Cutting edge engine technology

Fleet of eight vessels