Aalborg Industries: Leading the Way in Marine Equipment

Steaming ahead

Aalborg Industries has long been a leading equipment and service supplier in the marine sector, as well as a provider of industrial products to selected key markets.

The company offers solutions to three main industries – oil and gas, marine and industrial. Within the marine sector, Aalborg Industries has roots dating back to 1919 when it was a boiler engineering and manufacturing business.

From its origins as part of Aalborg Shipyard, Aalborg Industries grew to supplying marine boilers to other shipyards on an international level, and developed a business for supplying and servicing industrial and power station boilers. For 40 years the organisation has carried out boiler services around the world and, over the last decade, investment in additional resources has fortified the company’s expertise in service and equipment supply for floating production systems for the offshore sector.

The organisation has been involved in the oil and gas industry for several years and undertaken large projects, including the installation of new boilers with complete burners and control systems, boiler retrofits, boiler repairs and conversions. When Aalborg Industries last featured in European Oil and Gas Magazine, the company’s business director for oil and gas, Finn Poulsen, spoke about the growing number of FPSOs in operation and their exciting product developments to better meet the needs of the market.

Since that interview the market has changed considerably. Over the past year the oil price has fluctuated as global economies have become  gripped in a recession that looks likely to exceed the lowest points of previous downturns. Commenting now on how the business has fared during the last 12 months, Finn says: “Business has slowed down a little – every company can tell you the same kind of story. Activity has reduced in many areas of the oil and gas sector, and as a consequence everything moved at a slower pace in 2008. Oil companies are deliberating how to proceed with long-term plans because they all depend on how the oil price is going to change down the line; if the present level remains then some investments might be postponed for a while until the price rises.”

One aspect that has remained constant is Aalborg’s Industries professional service and attitude, which stands the company in good stead, and has instilled confidence within the business, as Finn reveals: “Our approach to the business has stayed the same and we’re maintaining our profit margin and structure with little problem. We’re able to serve the oil and gas industry excellently within our special field, and our aim is to maintain the business at the level we reached a year ago, a level that we are confident of. Our sales have faltered slightly because the number of contracts available. However, oil and gas will continue to be an important commodity, so we are confident that there will be opportunities for us in the coming years.”

The fact that business has continued to be successful means that Aalborg Industries has been able to make progress that has enabled the business to become more ecologically focused and international. Elaborating, Finn says: “We have continued our product development within a few areas; a year ago our latest offering was boiler modules, which we have been very successful in selling to the market, and we’re about to complete 20 boiler modules in that series. We have high expectations for our area of combustion equipment because all of it has been developed to comply with low emission requirements for the future on a worldwide scale – we’re trying to be a frontrunner in terms of environmental needs.

“With regards to the organisation, in 2007 we started to develop into a more worldwide-covering business, able to serve the oil and gas industry more efficiently. We have continued that development throughout the past year, strengthening our organisation in Brazil, Singapore, Australia and the Middle East, so we have a much better global business in order to serve the oil and gas market wherever needed. We’re continuing to maintain a high profile and will be attending OTC in May, which will be our tenth consecutive year of participation, so we’re planning a few additional events to commemorate this landmark.”

By establishing a closer relationship to owners and managers of LNG carriers and FPS units, Aalborg Industries has made available its vast experience with boiler and inert gas generator operation, service and repairs. For this purpose, the company has created a separate organisation that is supported by dedicated, local key account centres at its entities around the world. “Over the past six months we have concentrated on this and employed new personnel for that purpose,” Finn reveals. “The same product range and concepts will be serving this part of the business but it’ll be a different kind of operation than we used to service before. It’s an emerging market; LNG will play a more significant role in the future and there’ll be more LNG operators showing interest in this market, with whom we want to establish relationships.”

Summarising Aalborg Industries’ future plans, Finn concludes: “We would like to maintain our status despite the present circumstances ruling the market. We’re positioning ourselves in the best possible way and preparing for the future. It is important to remember that we are a financially strong company that has an excellent tradition in the industry and very good levels of experience. With the need for oil and gas looking set to continue we can see a lot of business opportunities in the future.”

Aalborg Industries

Products: Steam boilers