“Once it’s all done, we will spend a year or so monitoring the temperature in the pipes, looking at heat loss and calculating how much energy we have saved and which can then be converted into reduced CO2 emissions,” explains Per Lange, head of Products Asia.
Korea is seeing an uptick in the market following a period of low activity and few newbuild prospects for Beerenberg. Incentives offered by the Korean authorities, including support for major projects such as wind power, hydrogen production and CO2 capture in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions, are part of the explanation.
“In the wake of this we will see projects that can generate a significant amount of work for Beerenberg. We are also in discussions with the Korean company Lotte Chemicals about various projects,” says head of Products Asia, Per Lange.
Helping to reduce CO2 emissions
The first partnership project with the Korean company is already underway.
“We know that we will be getting a contract at one of their petrochemical plants to upgrade the insulation in parts of the plant. We will then use our expertise to monitor the amount of energy saved in the process which will in turn cut CO2 emissions. We have been involved in the planning and calculated the insulation thickness and volumes of materials needed to replace the insulation on some 7,000 metres of pipe,” he says.
But that is not the end of the job for Beerenberg.
“Once it’s all done, we will spend a year or so monitoring the temperature in the pipes, looking at heat loss and calculating how much energy we have saved and which can then be converted into reduced CO2 emissions. This will all generate a considerable cost saving, as CO2 quotas are expensive,” he explains.
Picture: Head of Products Asia, Per Lange
The green shift
Looking at the Korean market as a whole, Beerenberg has spotted a number of opportunities as a result of the green shift.
“For example, there is a major drive to adopt LNG as fuel for more traditional vessels such as container ships. LNG must keep a temperature of -162 degrees, which means vastly different specs for insulating the equipment and storage tanks. We are looking at possible solutions with our Aerogel products,” Lange says.
Changes in the car manufacturing sector are also creating opportunities for Beerenberg’s insulation solutions.
“Korea has a huge automotive industry which is now gradually switching to electric vehicles. In this type of manufacturing there are particular requirements for battery insulation. Our products can be a good alternative in this respect and open up a new and exciting market for us,” he says.
Brighter times ahead
Korean shipyards have been hard hit by the global pandemic and suffered a brutal downturn in activity. This is now about to change.
“Much changed when Covid hit, as Beerenberg also came to discover. But luckily, it now appears as though the market is about to change and that Korea will be building some major offshore projects in the coming years. What seemed bleak only a short while ago is now looking much more positive,” Lange explains.
New rules mean new opportunities
In the battle to help save the environment, one important contribution is to recycle old insulation materials.
“Waste accounts for huge volumes, and we are looking to our expertise for various ways in which we can help. Rather than dump the materials that have been removed, they can be repainted or melted down into new products. This is still at the planning stage in Korea, and it’s exciting to be involved in the early phase with a genuine opportunity to make an impact,” Lange concludes.