VIKING Life-Saving Equipment, the marine safety specialist, acquired Drew Marine’s Fire Safety Rescue division in 2019 and absorbed the operation into its marine fire service (MFS) business, consolidated under a management and competency centre based in Rotterdam. The new agreement covers distribution by VIKING of the marine-approved foam concentrates offered under the Dr. Sthamer brand.
Established in Hamburg in 1886, the independent manufacturer supplies concentrates meeting IMO1312 requirements for Deck Foam Systems and IMO670 for High Expansion Inside Air Foam Systems for Engine Rooms and Machinery spaces. Its products also include next generation high stability 1% IAF Fluorine Free Foams.
“This agreement renews and builds on the successes of an arrangement between Dr. Sthamer and Drew Marine FSR,” says VIKING’s Global MFS Service Director William Gielen. “Dr. Sthamer’s reputation for quality is unsurpassed in the marine industry, while its R&D lead and environmentally responsible foams keeps it well ahead of the pack.”
“VIKING has built its reputation on the quality of its life rafts, immersion suits and other safety equipment, and customers have the same expectations for MFS. We are taking the Dr. Sthamer relationship to a new level, supported by a global service organisation and sizeable foam inventories at strategic locations. We are also investing in our Odense foam analysis laboratory, so that existing customers have the VIKING assurance that their marine fire safety is safe with us,” continues Gielen.
Initially focusing on foam supplies for existing vessels, including foam tank cleaning, disposal and refilling, inspection and sampling, VIKING’s upgraded commitment includes delivering Dr. Sthamer foam stocks from stocks held in Fujairah, Houston, Esbjerg, Rotterdam and Singapore. Foams are being offered under a 5-year warranty, subject to verification of agreed storage conditions.
Dr. Sthamer is providing technical training for VIKING MFS “ambassadors”, who will offer full product and service support on the characteristics, performance, condition and storage requirements for branded marine foams. In turn, VIKING is offering a pre-paid, express sampling service for foams. The agreement also foresees condition data being fed back to Dr. Sthamer to support R&D.
“We are truly excited to pick up our relationship with William and his highly motivated team under new management,” says Jan Knappert, International Sales Director, Dr. Sthamer. “The VIKING MFS business has clarity of purpose, is investing in its people and in strategically-located inventories; Dr. Sthamer is always delighted when partners make our products core to their development plans.”
An estimated 50% of vessels in service have foam-based marine firefighting systems. Part of the plan envisages MFS services including foam supply being included for the first time as part of VIKING’s all-embracing Ship Owner Agreements, which see VIKING taking full responsibility for shipboard safety equipment supply and upkeep fleet-wide for a defined period – usually 5 years.
“Helping owners make the right decision on foam selection and giving them the technical support to maintain products in service will ultimately protect lives at sea,” comments Belarmino Dubois, VIKING Global Service Manager for Drydocking and Foam. “Including these capabilities in a broader shipowner agreement covering liferafts, lifeboats, PPE and more will save our clients time and money.”