Akva aims to produce 140 Polarcirkel workboats a year. Image: Akva.

Polarcirkel production to double

Akva aims to double its production of Polarcirkel workboats and slash delivery times by increasing the size of its production facility.

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"The goal is to increase production from 70 to 140 boats as early as 2017,” Stig Meisfjord, general manager of Akva’s subsidiary Helgeland Plast, observes.

Helgeland Plast, which is based in Mo i Rana, has for several decades supplied Polarcirkel boats to businesses in the aquaculture, offshore and other industries, in addition to the Police, the Armed Forces and the Redningsselskapet, the Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue.

“Polarcirkel, as our brand is named, has long been a recognized and popular high-quality work implement with a broad range of application areas. The entire hull is made from PE plastic, which is a very sturdy material that can withstand rough use, is easy to repair, keeps the boat stable and eliminates frost as a problem. And, because a polystyrene-filled tube surrounds the hull, our boats are virtually unsinkable! In addition, we can customise the boat according to the customer's wishes. In other words, there are plenty of reasons to choose our boats, and more and more people are realising this,” explains Meisfjord.

However, increasing demand has led to longer and longer delivery times, so Akva has decided to expand and enhance the production facility in Mo i Rana, in addition to utilising external resources for certain parts of production, in order to speed things up.

“The actions we are taking now will allow everyone who wants our products to have these delivered within a competitive schedule. We have noted that the market was of the opinion that delivery times were becoming a bit long, so this will undoubtedly increase sales significantly. The product is first-rate, so the interest is already there. We are very pleased to be able to deliver what the customer wants,” says Stig-Martin Bø, Akva group's sales manager in Southern Norway, who points out that the increased capacity will enable larger orders, requests they have previously had to turn down.

Some customers have already benefited from Akva's increased focus on boat production. Bremnes Seashore on Bømlo ordered two Polarcirkel Work 785 boats in May, and were given an estimated delivery date of 17 February 2017. However, as early as 4 November regional manager Jørn-Rune Bruun was told that his boats were ready for delivery.

“I'm struggling to get over the shock that the boats will be delivered several months before stipulated by the contract. I don't believe that's ever happened before!”, he wrote in an e-mail to Stig-Martin Bø.

“The fact that AKVA group is focusing on boat production is good news to us, and I'm sure that many other current and future customers will be very pleased that delivery times will decrease,” Jørn-Rune explains.