Marintec China – one of the largest and most important events in the global marine exhibition circuit – will take place in Shanghai, China from 1 to 4 December.
We caught up with Hans Laheij, Sales Director for Middle East & Asia, Marine Solution Sales, and a resident of Shanghai, to get a sneak peek on what Wärtsilä has to offer at the event, as well as to potential customers.
Q. What’s our focus at Marintec 2015?
A: Wärtsilä has a broad portfolio as a Marine Solutions provider. Our focus at Marintec will be to address our customers’ needs, while showcasing our wide portfolio of solutions. Gas and dual-fuel are important pillars in the Marine Solutions offering and they will naturally play a big role at Marintec. Our portfolio brings us close to all the major marine segments, with most of the focus on Merchant and Special vessels during this event. We will also reiterate Wärtsilä’s footprint here in China, and how we can be of service to customers around the country.
Q: How do you see the marine market as a whole shaping out?
A: Two years ago, we had a large portion of our business connected to the offshore segment. As we all know, the market has made a big shift towards other segments. More efficient and dual-fuel vessels are also playing an important role. We see that we are able to connect well to the present demand in this segment. We have, for instance, been able to capture a healthy portion of orders for equipment on LNG carriers and ultra large container vessels. For these equipment, we use our local manufacturing footprint. The fact that we’re in China, close to the yards, and close to the owners here makes a big difference.
For LNG carriers, besides the larger ones, we also work with owners on the smaller scale LNG carriers in China, for which we have a number of projects ongoing. That’s helping us get good business still while the offshore market remains somewhat inactive.
Q: Is our recent launch of the Wärtsilä Mobile LNG going to have some special focus at Marintec 2015?
A: We will give attention to Wärtsilä Mobile LNG concept at the event. It was launched less than a month ago, and we’re excited to share more about it with industry colleagues at the event.
Q: Have we changed our vision since the last Marintec in 2013?
A: The vision is the same. We have been present in China for a long time and we have a lot of close connections with our partners and customers here. We want to be the most valued partner to our customers by bringing our broad portfolio to them. At the last Marintec, we said that China is important for Wärtsilä, and it stays important for us. We see it as a key newbuilding place. Lots of newbuilds – around 40% of the global newbuilding activity – are being contracted here in China. Recent trends show that Chinese owners are becoming even more important in global shipping. This is also connected to the domestic owners who have become important partners for us. And of course the recent partnership with CSSC puts Wärtsilä in a good position in the Chinese market. So, we’re not changing the vision but building on the same strategic plans that we had two years ago, and materialising those goals.
Q: How can we better serve the Chinese marine industry?
A: We’ve started this some time ago already. What we are really focusing on is being close to the customer, and being able to serve the customer here from within China. We have project teams here that work closely with shipyards, owners and designers. Being able to serve locally with an empowered team is extremely important and by doing that, we can serve the customer even better.
Add to that a local manufacturing footprint, which puts us in a very unique position. We have both joint ventures and fully owned factories in China for our Engine business line, Electrical & Automation, Propulsion, and for Gas & Environmental solutions. We have Wärtsilä management and Wärtsilä processes in these factories and we can guarantee the same quality that we deliver all over the world. You get the same Wärtsilä experience whether produced in China or from other places around the world.
Q: Why should Marintec delegates come to see Wärtsilä?
A: Being able to offer a large portion of the main equipment for vessels, we are in the position to offer integrated solutions that minimize issues with interfaces and as such, reduce the newbuilding risk. At the same time, we have a very large network around the world and we are able to offer unmatched value during the lifespan of the vessel. Hence, what Wärtsilä can offer as a marine solutions provider is unmatched in the industry. We have solutions that can actually help our customers save costs and improve their business over the lifespan of their vessels. Delegates should come to our stand to hear more about all this.
Q: What are you most looking forward to at Marintec?
A: I look forward to connecting with our customers and partners, meeting people and exchanging the latest on our offering, news and updates from the market.
Hans Laheij is the Sales Director for Middle East & Asia, Marine Solutions Sales.