Headquartered in Sweden, M.E. Solutions AB (MESAB) was established in 2009 with the aim of providing turnkey environmental solutions to the shipping and shipbuilding industry worldwide. Offering ballast water treatment, exhaust gas cleaning, fuel consumption reduction and other energy and environmental solutions, its mission is to actively contribute to technological solutions that minimise emissions to air and sea, and, which deliver tangible cost savings to shipping companies as well as environmental sustainability.
In 2014, the company witnessed a five-fold increase in sales thanks to a vast increase of orders for scrubber integration in line with the implementation of the IMO sulphur restrictions; this growth continued throughout 2015 as more customers became aware of the company’s abilities in laser scanning and 3D and increased numbers of customers sought out energy solutions. In response to this growth, the company opened a manpower supply company in Poland in 2014, which enhanced its provision of crew and office training and thus enabled MESAB to successfully increase the level of personnel within the business throughout 2015.
Discussing the onsite training programme to Shipping & Marine magazine in July 2015, Managing Director of ME Solutions AB Anders Sjostrom commented: “We demand that all the installers are certified for plastic glass reinforced epoxy (GRE) pipes as well as undergoing our own specific training on how this should be done. It is vital that they are able to read drawings and interpret the instructions provided through the 3D modelling. This commitment has turned out to be very successful for the business, and the difference achieved by the labour being able to visualise the design is very clear. We are very busy with survey work, carrying out laser scanning on board vessels and producing proposals that highlight the restrictions, and the problems that may be encountered when installing a scrubber.”
Following the installation of a scrubber on a cruise ship as well as the integration of systems on four RoRo vessels operating in the Baltics in 2015, the company has continued working its way through its busy order book, as Anders highlights: “Since we last spoke MESAB has seen an ongoing order intake increase; this is with the same customer as the previous article, but a new brand: Princess Cruises. We are pleased to have received continued confidence from this long-term customer.”
Alongside delivering solutions on Princess Cruises ships, Anders notes that the company has also been involved in other notable projects such as the installation of four scrubber systems on the Queen Mary 2: “This project encompasses approximately 800 metres of GRE pipes in sizes DN350 and 400. This project has been challenging as the system had to be started before any equipment was installed, such as pumps, overboards or scrubber towers. This means that we had to start building with floating fixed points, which was almost like starting in the middle of a pipe system. While work continues on the Queen Mary 2 we are also currently underway with an extremely challenging project fitting three scrubber systems to a ship while sailing. The challenge here lies in that there is absolutely no space to install a pipe system, at least not to the surveyor’s eye. However by using laser scanning we have found routing options and actually already completed the most difficult part of this project.”
The company’s ability to find solutions to the most challenging of customer demands has not been ignored by the market, with MESAB enjoying enquiries and orders from customers via reference, says Anders: “We have a lot of customers that contact us by reference nowadays. They say things like: ‘We heard you did such a great job on this and that ship and can you therefore take a look at my project?’ It is a very positive market for us.”
In response to this increased demand, MESAB made the strategic decision to expand into the US market with a warehouse in Miami, Florida, with plans to further expand with a warehouse in Seattle. “A local presence in Miami is very important to us as it will enable us to visit ships faster and also cut our costs for projects,” explains Anders. “We want to deliver reverse engineering offices such as laser scanning of existing pipes, for example; we also want to manufacture pipes onshore and then go onboard and replace the same pipes. This is a quick and cost-effective way of working that will significantly minimise a ship’s downtime.”
Not only expanding its geographical reach, the company has also increased its product portfolio after establishing a partnership with NK Group, a South Korean specialist developer and manufacturer of ballast water treatment products. Within NK’s portfolio are shipboard fire control systems, shipboard ballast water treatment systems; high pressure gas cylinders, natural gas vehicle (NGV) cylinders and environmental protection technologies. Furthermore, the company is also branching into new IMO products and markets that include green energy.
“NK, a South Korean ballast water treatment product maker has selected MESAB as a partner in the EU; following this agreement, we are now selling NK products and are also providing the full scope of services we can offer for shipowners: engineeringand installation plus after market services,” says Anders.
With an expanded portfolio and strengthened presence in the US, MESAB is in a strong position thanks to its unrelenting commitment to quality in all areas of a project, as Anders explains: “By continuing to focus on the quality of systems that we deliver and by solving issues for owners, we ensure a long life time of our installations. It may sound a contradiction, but delivering a high quality service is actually more costefficient than delivering a standard service. The high quality of our systems is guaranteed due to a focus on engineering before any work is undertaken onboard; moreover, this guarantee is strengthened because as much fabrication of components as possible is made onshore in workshops suitable for this type of production.”
Looking ahead, the company will use these impressive capabilities to make its goal of global expansion a reality, as Anders concludes: “We believe reverse engineering will be in demand over the coming years once its potential has been realised, so this is an area of the business we will certainly focus on. We will also support NK products as well as the engineering, sales and developments of our client base over the coming years.”
ME Solutions AB
Provider of turnkey environmental solutions
Working on the Queen Mary 2
Established new office in Florida