Staff at South Shields based Solar Solve marine are currently working flat out manufacturing around 600 of their SOLASAFE anti-glare roller sunscreens that will be installed on 40 vessels that are being built in South Korea during 2019. The Type Approved screens will be fitted at the navigation bridge windows to protect ship’s personnel from heat, glare and uv light that is radiated by the sun to create a safer and more comfortable working environment.
Included in the order is a series of 14 massive VLCC 320,000 tons deadweight oil tankers that will be 336 mts long, 60mts beam and 29.5mts depth, that are all being constructed by Daewoo Shipbuilders. Each vessel will cost well over £60m depending on engine type and are being built for owners in Norway, Greece, the USA and South Korea. They will all have 17 of the SOLASOLV screens installed when they are delivered to their various owners throughout the rest of this year.
There is also a series of 5 much smaller but still significantly big 50,000 tons deadweight Handymax products carriers / tankers in the order, destined for Japanese owners.
Solar Solve chairman John Lightfoot, MBE explains, “In early January, as part of our internal staff training, we re-visited a closed out SWOT exercise to follow up on actions that had to be taken. During the training session, it was suggested that BREXIT should be considered both a Threat and an Opportunity and subsequently it was written up as such.”
“This inspired the sales and marketing team in early February, to contact Solar Solve’s World Wide Distributor network and customers with outstanding quotations, to remind them that BREXIT was due to come into effect on 29th March this year and we had no idea what effect it would have on the service we will be able to provide in the days and weeks after that date. What we did know was that we have the resources and capability to manufacture the equivalent of 6 months of orders or more in a very short space of time, so if they wanted to bring any orders forward and have them dispatched before 26th March, to be sure they receive them before needed, maybe they should do so.”
“Our distributor in Busan, along with many other distributors and customers who had orders on hold, decided it is better to be safe than sorry, went along with the suggestion and placed orders, lots of them.”
The great team at Solar Solve are used to periods of high production output and have rallied to the challenge of making over 60% more solar sunscreens and roller blinds during the first quarter of 2019 that they did last year, by working overtime and with half of the office based staff working on production in the factory, which they are all fully trained to do. The remaining office based employees are coping extremely well with all of the additional technical queries and documentation that the huge influx of orders has generated.
Everyone expects that all customers’ export orders will be dispatched by 27th March to clear the UK before the 29th and will be received by them on time as planned.