Chain maker steps up output as sales soar

It is all change at anchor chain manufacturer Ramnäs Bruk, with a new president installed in January and a new owner taking over last month.

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It is all change at anchor chain manufacturer Ramnäs Bruk, with a new president installed in January and a new owner taking over last month.

The new president, Magnus Westher, who has a background in international business particularly in the process industry, finds the company in good shape. “Business is very good at present,” he says. “There are a lot of new projects and demand is very strong. So now our main focus is on increasing production capacity.”

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To an extent this has already been achieved through improved productivity and new machinery. But a step-change will come when a new production line opens in August, although its full effect will probably only be felt by the end of the year, Westher says. Even so, chain output is expected to rise significantly, from 9,500 metric tons (10,472 tons) in 2007 to around 11,000 metric tons (12,125 tons) this year. Sales are expected to significantly exceed 2007’s SEK 230 million ($38.07 million).

The new owner is a Norwegian consortium led by Carl Arnet, a former president of Ramnäs’ leading customer, APL, and currently business development manager of BW Offshore, which now owns APL. The former owners, Svenskt Rekonstruktionskapital, AB Arvid Svensson and Östersjöstiftelsen, remain on board with a holding of just over 10% in the consortium.

The new owner clearly intends to play an active role in further developing the company. “As a result of the know-how about the offshore industry that we contribute, conditions are favorable to further develop and broaden operations to include total system solutions for anchoring of oil platforms,” Arnet said, when the change of ownership was announced in April.

Ramnäs is currently working on its biggest ever order, placed by APL. This calls for a total of 3,829 metric tons (4,220 tons) of chain in NVR-3 and NVR-4 grades for anchoring two STL submerged turret loading buoys which APL is supplying to Suez LNG’s Neptune offshore regasification terminal off the coast of Massachusetts. Manufacturing began in spring and delivery is due to be completed by year-end. The two buoys will each be held in place by eight mooring lines in 260 ft (79 m) of water.

In May the company delivered 2,364 metric tons (2,606 tons) of 127 mm (5 in.) RQ4 chain for ATP’sMirage MinDOC spar platform in the Gulf of Mexico, an order placed by Intermoor. Ramnäs’ order book also includes several smaller orders of chain for drilling rigs from contractors such as Transocean.

For further information, contact Magnus Westher, Ramnäs Bruk. Tel +46 220 220 01, fax +46 220 358 37,magnus.westher@ramnas.com, www.ramnas.com

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