Oceanco beyond the current order book
Oceanco discuss how sustainable business practices fits into their future strategy …
Oceanco had a great October. In the same month, Oceanco revealed the largest superyacht ever built in The Netherlands (Project Y719), as well as a glimpse of what they claim to be the future largest sailing yacht in the world (Project Y721). For a number of years, the superyacht builders had the honorable distinction of having built the largest yacht in The Netherlands, with KAOS, which is 110m and was delivered in 2017. Project Y719 will be 7 metres longer.
Paris Baloumis, Group Marketing Manager at Oceanco stated,
“In terms of publicly visible milestones, it has been a quiet couple of years at our shipyard while we worked away on these complex and challenging projects. But we have been very busy behind the scenes, working on our 4 in-build projects, with 1 rebuild, and 2 refits. Next year will indeed be a momentous time for us to show off the fruits of our labours, and we believe it will further reinforce our standing as a forward thinker of the industry.”
As a company, Oceanco sees itself as being part of a modern ecosystem of partnerships across third, fourth and even fifth parties, rather than a chain of one-to-one relationships. When the new pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic arose, their cooperative working strategy became even more beneficial. Before the end of 2020, Oceancos internal testing centre was up and running, testing up to 1,900 individuals per day. Despite the unprecedented challenges of the last 18 months, Baloumis believes that the company ‘has emerged stronger than ever’. The shipbuilders fully expect the rate of interest for fully custom megayachts to continue, especially now that the industry has become a sellers market.
Baloumis went on to outline the different types of clients that the company is currently working with. “It is our experience that more technically minded owners do often enjoy being at the forefront of this wave of change.” He explained that, “Owners tend to come in a number of molds: There are those who have awareness of sustainability, but it is not their primary focus. Then there are those who want to do the right thing but it is not at the centre of their project. Finally, there are those who want to put sustainability at the heart of their projects. These latter clients are innovators, and they know that you don’t get disruptive results without taking risks. There are some very exciting sustainability innovations being explored for projects, including alternative propulsion solutions and fuel sources as well as increased electrification and battery usage for reduced carbon emissions.”
The Group Marketing Manager revealed that Oceancos clients are already asking them to engineer, design and build yachts which can operate in a ‘leave no trace’ manner. Reducing their carbon footprint is a major part of Oceancos future strategy. By 2030, the ship builders have pledged to more than halve their impact on the environment compared to the benchmark, aiming for 100% of their electricity usage to be supplied by renewable energy sources. They have also stated their intent to be 100% waste free or circular across the entire supply chain in 10 years time, this will be achieved by having a more conscious selection and creation of new materials to be used onboard.
“Will we be building more yachts or bigger yachts in 10 years’ time? This isn’t the yardstick of success or the most useful ambition. We will continue to push boundaries in green technologies and efficiency, creating yachts that understand the needs of their owners and that are in line with modern attitudes to sustainability as well as lifestyle.”
Though Oceanco have made it a staple of their brand to break records and deliver industry firsts. It appears their focus is shifting, and more energy is being directed toward green initiatives and sustainable developments. There is an understanding of the uncertainty that lies ahead, but they are making a very conceited effort to trailblaze the use of alternative fuels and propulsion systems. “In our view, we can say for certain that future-proofing requires electrification, and greater flexibility within the electrical architecture.” Baloumis continues, “Also, more intelligent use of technical space is going to be needed, because all alternative fuels are less energy dense than current fossil fuels. This also tells us that we need to keep pushing forward with energy reduction, because for a less energy dense fuel the main way to reduce its volume will be to reduce how much of it is needed.”
Oceancos most recent concept yacht, Kairos, features an electric propulsion which utilises batteries as its primary means of energy delivery. It is ‘exhibit A’ of the shipbuilders' drive to create vessels which aren’t perceived as being anchored and limited to the features and capabilities that are present upon its delivery. But is instead capable of being upgraded and evolved to a future environment.
2030 is just a few build cycles away, and so time is running out for superyacht builders to deliver vessels which are both ahead of their time and ahead of upcoming regulatory requirements. If the major key industry stakeholders are indeed able to deliver on their bold pledges, then there is good reason to be hopeful. Oceanco seem to understand that talk is cheap, particularly in an industry as exorbitant as ours. It will be interesting to see if their future ‘industry firsts’ are as sustainable as they are iconic. But also how their work will inspire and infect the rest of the market with the same attitude and drive.
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