Cable laud sling production at Hendrik Veder Group in Rotterdam. Photo from Hendrik Veder Group.
Rotterdam-based Hendrik Veder Group moved into the fiber rope domain last year when it bought manufacturing firm G. van der Lee Rope Factory in Oudewater, and recently set up a UK Van der Lee fiber rope sales office, including warehouse space specifically for the UK marine and offshore markets.
The group, which provides mooring and lifting rope solutions, was formed when Hendrik Veder, RopeQuip and European Rope Services merged in December 2011. Last December, the group, which has production and storage facilities throughout Europe, also formed a joint venture with Aberdeen-based ATR Group to acquire operational control of Norwegian firm Myhre Rope Services, previously known as Cosalt Offshore Norway.
Hans Struijk, director of Group Strategy & Business Development, says the firm is focusing on the European market. As projects become more complex and liabilities are to be taken more seriously Struijk says the market is no longer looking for products, but solutions. “In the past you would receive a €20,000 order. Now, for projects in places like West Africa and the Gulf of Mexico, it can easily be €500,000 for a single order, with the product and assemblies involved, and it still must be delivered yesterday.“We have been looking carefully at the synthetic rope market and we believe to be active in this market you cannot just be a trader, you need to be involved in the whole process, including the design and production of the base material and then producing the assemblies, including end connections,” he says.
However, ultimately, he says synthetic is just another product, with different characteristics to wire, and does not see it taking over the business. “Wire has too many advantages. Fiber is generally used for different applications, mainly in the maritime business as a mooring rope or towing rope, because it stretches,” Struijk says. It is also used where steel wire rope might damage a structure, or where the steel wire mass for the application becomes too large, including as temporary moorings for mobile offshore drilling units. Hendrik Veder Group is aiming to grow its business from about €70 million to about €100 million in the next 2-3 years.
The firm has an investment program to ensure and support the above mentioned growth figures, including a recent investment in its test bed facilities in Rotterdam, creating a 260m-long test bed with a load capacity up to 600-ton. It is also extending its storage facilities at Moerdijk and Rotterdam by 20,000sq m, while adding additional in-house heavy lift capacity, as single cable-laid slings and grommets can reach a mass up to 100-ton each.