Vestergaard Marine Service AS

Care taker

Vestergaard Marine Service AS (VMS) is a highly specialised company within repair and maintenance of diesel engines on marine and offshore installations, and power plants.

It services all types of marine propulsion systems, diesel engines and gears, offering solutions for all kinds of shaft and propeller blade damage at competitive prices. The company’s main office is situated on the harbour of Frederikshavn, one of Denmark’s busiest ports, VMS is conveniently close to the highway system, airport and ferry routes to Sweden and Norway, and provides technical engineering support to customers around the world. In addition, a smaller department has been established in Bergen, Norway.

Established in August 2001, VMS began with only two employees – a figure that rose to seven after the first year when the turnover had amounted to DKK 12 million. At this point, the company moved to its current premises where it gained access to better facilities and invested in the necessary equipment to be amongst the leading service providers on the market.

A new department was established in May 2004 to overhaul and recondition propeller blades, and conduct special welding tasks within the field. Subsequently, VMS invested in additional machines and the workshop was extended by almost 50 per cent. In the Autumn of 2005 the workshop was expanded again with the addition of 600 square metres, which allowed VMS to easily handle the overhaul of complete diesel engines with bigger bores than 300mm. The development also improved store capacity, enabling VMS to increase its number of reconditioned parts in stock.

Today, the organisation performs services with customers’ close co-operation in order to minimise costs and operational obstacles. Its state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment is always ready for worldwide service. Managing director, Morten Vestergaard, reveals more about VMS’ activities.

“We specialise in the overhaul and repair of diesel engines, particularly for marine and offshore installations,” he says. “We have 80 employees, some in our workshop who recondition engine components and some travelling internationally to work on ships and offshore installations completing on-site jobs, overhauling engines and so forth. Indirectly and directly, 80 per cent of our turnover is related to customers in the oil and gas industry, which include offshore shipping companies and owners of supply, anchor handler, seismic or construction vessels.”

Importantly, VMS has developed Frederikshavn into a repair cluster as the yard, offices and network of suppliers are located within a few hundred metres of each other, which is ideal for customers visiting the port for repairs. “We strongly believe this to be a very competitive way of operating – we can supply in agreed delivery times and have all the necessary knowledge close together,” Morten comments.

In keeping with its tradition of making regular improvements in order to better serve customers, VMS has taken steps to help it stand out in the marketplace. “We have invested a great deal of money in our machines so we can be more flexible and competitive in manufacturing special items,” Morten reveals. “As we have no production as such – we make one or two of each product – we have standby availability on our machines. This means if a customer has an urgent requirement, we have the tools and the machines ready, which works to our advantage. Traditional machine shops have production running around the clock, so if the need arises for another item to be produced, it might take 14 days for a window to open. We know this isn’t acceptable in the marine and offshore market.”

Morten identifies other differentiators as well: “Honesty is one of our core values and we have a philosophy of not representing engine manufacturers; instead, we make their customers’ investment as profitable as possible during the entire lifecycle of the engine.”

In order to make more businesses aware of the benefits of working with VMS, the organisation took part in the widely attended ONS exhibition in Stavanger, Norway, earlier this year. “We see it as a part of our branding,” Morten states. “We’re aiming to be known as one of the best suppliers in the market, so we have to be visible at events such as ONS and Offshore Europe in Aberdeen. To this end, we have also attended two shipping exhibitions – Norse Shipping in Oslo and SMM in Hamburg.”

Morten is happy to report that VMS has not felt the global financial crisis yet and is on course to achieve its aim of reaching a turnover of DKK 210 million in 2010. Explaining the company’s plan for future success, he says: “We will be connecting closely with customers to be involved in their service jobs at an earlier stage. This is because we are seeing heavily overloaded ship crews and technical departments.

“As a result, ships come in for repair having not pre-ordered spare parts, which causes delays and losses for customers, or crew order 50 per cent too much, only to be left with 200,000 euros worth of spare items that suppliers buy back for 30 per cent less. If we get involved at an early stage, we decide what work the engine needs, compile a repair list, source spare parts and ensure items are at the shipyard on time. It is our long-term target to cover every aspect.”

Vestergaard Marine Service
Services Engine repair and maintenance