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KNUD E. HANSEN’s dedicated HVAC unit going from strength to strength. MARINE HVAC DESIGN: The road to Spain.

Denmark-headquartered KNUD E. HANSEN has recently opened a new office in Cadiz, Spain. The office focuses on HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning) – and operates under the brand MARINE HVAC DESIGN. Who provide support in every stage of the process, from concept/basic design to detail design & industrialization. Our support also includes consultancy and project management.

KNUD E. HANSEN managing director Finn Wollesen and MARINE HVAC DESIGN general manager Stéphane Geslin talk about the path that has led the company to this place: “We have vast experience within HVAC,” begins Finn. “Stéphane and I were working at Marine-Technologies between 1998 and 2003, a company established and led by me, during which time we did a lot of air -conditioning and developed an extensive track record in HVAC projects on some noteworthy cruise ships including the Aurora, Queen Mary 2 and the Diamond Princess.

Joining forces

Marine Technology merged with KNUD E. HANSEN in 2003. Finn explains the thinking behind the two companies coming together. “It helped Marine-Technologies to become part of KNUD E. HANSEN. It could be tough as a small company – the timing of a contract had to fall just right. We would be working for up to two years on large contracts. If another came along too soon we would not have the capacity and if it came too late there could be an uncomfortable gap. Being part of a lagrer company gave some protection against this.”

Adding value

There was a similar idea behind KNUD E. HANSEN joining the Damen Shipyards Group in 2012, something that Finn says is of all-round benefit. “KNUD E. HANSEN being part of the Damen Group is something advantageous for all parties. Damen is moving into the construction of large ships, including cruise and RoPax, with which we have a lot of experience. Having such capabilities in-house can save considerable costs, which in turn can be passed on to customers in terms of competitive pricing.”

Since Marine-Technologies became part of KNUD E. HANSEN, HVAC has been a critical part of KNUD E. HANSEN’s offering. “We’ve had some important projects, of which we are very proud,” says Finn. Examples include HVAC projects for large defence and security vessels for, for example, the British Royal Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS). Cruise ships like Aurora, Queen Mary 2, Diamond Princess and major conversions as Saga Saphire. Furthermore major cruise shipyards as the Chantier de l’Atlantique, Meyer Werft and various offshore projects such as the FPSO Skarv.

Dedicated to HVAC

The development of HVAC as a specialty within KNUD E. HANSEN led to the company’s decision to open a dedicated HVAC business unit. MARINE HVAC DESIGN reflects the legacy of both KNUD E. HANSEN and Marine-Technologies – its logo, for example, is an amalgamation of those of both companies.

Stéphane Geslin: “Over the past ten years HVAC has grown to become one of the largest disciplines within the company. Despite that, our general commercial approach to the market as KNUD E. HANSEN did not reflect the visibility of our HVAC work in the market. Something had to change.

Independent flexibility

“We felt the HVAC market needed independent experts like MARINE HVAC DESIGN. This dedicated operation gives us the opportunity to show our expertise and capabilities based on our strong experience in the delivery of customised, efficient solutions for both newbuild and r etrofit projects.”

“The philosophy of MARINE HVAC DESIGN is to be independent” says Finn. “There is a tendency for some HVAC service companies to promote a preferred supplier. We will only provide what benefits the client. That’s how we ensure the best price-quality ratio.”

Optimistic appraisal

The opening of the Spanish office is part of the strategic development Stéphane Geslin states. José Manuel Camacho Muñoz, Managing Director Spain explains: “We opened in Spain to enable us to get a bigger market share within Detailed Design and also because we already had a great team of Spanish engineers used to work within a flexible international environment and high-level knowledge. Plus, the Spanish market is improving well at the moment and this strategic decision positions us well to serve the resurgence. There are good opportunities here; we have been very busy already.” The plans of the company going forward match this optimistic outlook. “We opened in June last year, within two months we went fr om two people working here to sixteen. We are definitely growing. If all goes to plan,” José concludes optimistically, “we could have up to thirty people working here within half a year.”


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