In safe hands

Noreq develops, produces and delivers maritime equipment, with the close co-operation of its customers around the world, working on the principle that feedback positively shapes its products.

Specialising in the development of lifesaving and deck equipment, Noreq’s products are developed to be of a high quality and completely reliable. “We manufacture and supply lifesaving and protective equipment,” explains managing director Styrk Bekkenes. “Our activities are based on shipping and the offshore industry, and Noreq operates worldwide, with Singapore and the Middle East being particularly important areas for us. We’re different to our competitors in that we focus on how our equipment works and the feedback we receive from users helps us to improve it.”

Elaborating further on how Noreq’s clients take an active role in determining how the company manufactures its product range, Styrk says: “We ask our customers for their opinions after using our equipment and then our technical people co-operate with clients to find ways to make our products perform better.”

It’s impossible to overestimate the importance of lifesaving equipment on board oilrigs, particularly in the unpredictable North Sea, which is why Noreq constantly challenges itself to make its equipment safer than any other gear available today. “With regards to the North Sea, there has been discussion over the last year about existing lifesaving equipment on the Norwegian rigs,” says Styrk. “It has hampered some of the production on those rigs since lifesaving equipment has been downgraded in respect of what sea condition the rigs can operate it in. We’re looking into solutions to find better equipment for that area and a new way of thinking about lifesaving for the offshore industry. By the beginning of Autumn 2008 we hope to introduce new ideas to the market and we’re focusing heavily on the offshore market, particularly the Norwegian sector.”

Continuing, Styrk adds: “Although the existing lifesaving apparatus on board the rigs adheres to regulations, those regulations are not good enough considering the conditions in the North Sea. The people offshore using the equipment tell us that they don’t feel comfortable with the equipment’s lifesaving potential so we have to develop other equipment to increase users’ safety. Basically, although all of our equipment is manufactured to the regulated standard the problem lies in those regulations not taking into account the rough sea conditions that can occur in the North Sea. Thankfully, it looks as though the Norwegian authority will lay out new guidelines for the offshore sector by autumn of this year.”

Increasing demand for Noreq’s expertise has resulted in the company establishingNoreq BV, a subsidiary with an office and warehouse facilities in the Netherlands. This puts the business in an even stronger position in respect of capacity and delivery times to its European customers, and the site will house training facilities for customers who buy Noreq’s lifesaving products.

As another step in increasing Noreq’s presence, and to focus on the development of launching arrangements (davits) for lifeboats and rescue vessels, the organisation has acquired Bergenbased davit manufacturer Crevi Davit AS. This recent addition has already allowed Noreq to make progress in developing safer and more functional davit systems, and the new products will make the process of lowering lifeboats from ships and offshore vessels safer. Styrk comments: “With access to Crevi Davit’s engineering expertise, we can develop lifesaving products designed to solve the problems that arise after prolonged installation on a vessel. Crevi Davit has many new developments on the launching side of lifesaving in respect of making the davits safer, which is something we’re now working on, and we’ll be revealing new ideas very shortly. Generally, we aim to improve all of our equipment by adding new aspects, especially with regards to improving the safety of lifesaving equipment in comparison with many of the other systems available today.”

Noreq’s latest product is its FRB 700, a new boat made of aluminium that can be used as a rescue boat and as a workboat for small jobs. Well suited to rougher conditions, the boat is due to be launched in August 2008 and has generated a great deal of interest already. Styrk reveals more: “Our aluminium boat is for the offshore industry, especially for supply vessels and anchor handler vessels, which are demanding applications, and for rescue boats as it can transfer people and equipment.”

Benefiting from a buoyant market, Noreq’s future plans revolve around developing its product assortment and the quality of its equipment, as well as expanding geographically. “As long as the oil price remains strong then we’ll see investment from both offshore and oil companies. Considering our order books, the market looks good for the next three to four years at least. We’ll improve our equipment and expand our product range so that we can become more of a total supplier of deck equipment. We also want to expand around the world and hope to launch an office in Singapore to cover the Asian market.”

With new products, strategic expansion and ongoing development to improve upon any lifesaving kits currently available, Noreq is primed to conquer the lifesaving equipment market and provide solutions that save lives.

Noreq AS

Products: Maritime equipment