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Live from Posidonia 2018
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Becker books record order intake as market rebounds

Hamburg-based Becker Marine Systems has won a range of new contracts for its fuel-saving devices as ship operators once again face higher bunker bills and renewed calls for improvements in ship efficiency.

Becker managing director Dirk Lehmann reveals that the company first noticed a rebound in orders last September and subsequently made preparations for higher production levels this year. Orders placed have climbed sharply with 40 contracts for Mewis ducts booked in the year to date against a backdrop of accelerating enquiry levels. Shipowners in Greece, Norway, Singapore and the Middle East are amongst those actively assessing Becker’s range of devices.

Typical fuel savings from a Mewis duct, for example, are around 6%, but a combination of devices can raise this figure in some cases. “For me, it’s a no-brainer. At this level of saving, if you have 14 ships, another one sails for free,” Lehmann declared. “I’m expecting more enquiries in the months ahead in all product areas in both retrofits and new construction. Shipyards in South Korea have selected our systems for some of their new designs.”

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Lehmann expects to have booked 100-150 Mewis duct orders by December. More than 50 contracts for different types of rudders have also been placed, including twisted, flap and spade types, as well as specially tailored rudder installations for some clients. The company’s orderbook now extends into 2020 although there is still some space for new deals.

The company’s customers span a range of ship sectors. Orders for Mewis ducts have been placed by Japanese container lines and French liner company CMA CGM which will have Mewis ducts on nine LNG-powered 22,000 teu container ships currently under construction in China with deliveries scheduled for 2020.

The pace of retrofit deals for other ship types has picked up too with recent contracts including ducts for 12 VLCCs belonging to a Middle East owner, an installation on a BW Group-owned very large ore carrier, and two installations booked on a ‘fast-track’ basis for 48,000 dwt products carriers owned in Singapore.

Where installations are based on CFD analysis and do not require model tests, the time needed for design, manufacture and installation can be cut from a typical nine months to four or five, Lehmann said. The devices are manufactured remotely, delivered to a shipyard anywhere in the world, and installed in just a few days. Usually, this coincides with a scheduled docking, but not always, with about 15-20% of installations made during non-survey dockings.

Becker are exhibiting at Posidonia 2018 stand 3.258

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