As the superyacht industry emerges from the COVID-19 crisis, it has never been more important for companies to focus on due diligence, best practice and a commitment to sustainable operations. This manifests itself in many ways, some of which are not immediately obvious but have a profound impact. The optimisation of build processes, for example, can make a huge contribution to sustainability by reducing wastage and optimising supply chains, which in itself can lower carbon footprints.
Oceanco has long been recognised for its innovative yachts; Black Pearl and Bravo Eugenia are just two recent examples of vessels that have pushed the envelope of sustainable design and build processes. “Volumes have already been written about both Black Pearl and Bravo Eugenia,” explains Group Marketing Manager Paris Baloumis. “But in a nutshell, the designs of each respectively have incorporated sustainable practices: in the case of Black Pearl, she has many advanced technological systems and a complex power regeneration system. And Bravo Eugenia was our first LIFE-designed (Lengthened, Innovative, Fuel Efficient, Eco-conscious) yacht… a system developed with Lateral Naval Architecture and Engineering.”
However, it is not just the products themselves that are demonstrative of the company’s commitment to a more efficient and sustainable future. The company has invested significantly in its infrastructure portfolio to facilitate a more ecological, economical and efficient turnkey construction solution.
The Alblasserdam headquarters welcomed a state-of-the-art 160m dry dock in 2015 to much acclaim. This year the Alblasserdam site was extended further, with a new building created for exterior paint application with temperature and humidity control equivalent to the dry dock. Systems are equipped with heat recovery and electrically driven heat pumps reducing the need for gas-fired heating. By using heat pumps, gas consumption will be reduced by 50 per cent. In addition to the internal works, the rooftop of the building is covered with solar panels that delivers 250,000kWh a year. These solar panels cover up to 10 per cent of the yearly energy consumption for the building.
Then, in 2019, Oceanco purchased new premises in Zwijndrecht, located 10km south of its headquarters. The main area, which is 570m x 200m (approximately 114,000sqm), includes administration offices and conference rooms, construction facilities, outfit facilities, a piping shop, paint facilities, and sandblasting facilities. There are plans for an educational centre and a brain park for Oceanco and its ‘co-makers’. This site will now accommodate new construction, before bringing yachts to Alblasserdam for outfitting.
“Intrinsic to Oceanco’s vision for increased efficiency and all-round enhanced benefits, is that these new facilities will be a hub that will allow numerous co-makers to physically set up shop alongside the construction works, thus encouraging maximum synergy among all parties,” adds Baloumis. “As part of this superyacht hub, Oceanco is planning the creation of an educational campus for technical training and education across different superyacht-related disciplines to foster cross-pollination among companies. With experts in their respective fields leading the training, Oceanco feels that industry standards can be brought to the highest level possible and also ensure a qualified workforce for future builds.”
This huge expansion programme has brought with it massive gains in efficiency and optimisation, but has also allowed Oceanco the space to develop its refit programme. Previously limited by capacity, the portfolio of sites allows Oceanco to offer refit services to the same high standards as its new-build proposition. And all of this activity comes under the umbrella of a more sustainable and efficient lifecycle for superyachts.
“We believe if sustainability is not top of our clients’ agendas, then it is our responsibility to educate them about the merits of building sustainably,” explains Baloumis. “Building innovatively sustainable yachts will become the norm in the coming years. It is of vital importance to build a yacht that is optimised for low energy consumption, low emissions, and overall environmental impact. It is the future of yachting.”
Baloumis concludes; “The question of sustainable yachting is important for clients and the superyacht industry. We are all in this world together…. the more people on board, the better off we will be and the chances for survival on this planet will be increased.”
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