Leading wastewater treatment specialist ACO Marine has expanded its presence in Asia with the signing of a new sales and service agreement with Seven Bridges Maritime (Vietnam).

The deal, aimed at leveraging ACO Marine’s position across the region, follows similar agreements signed earlier this year with Turkey’s ESKO Marine and Pakistan’s Itech Chem Enterprises.

Seven Bridges Maritime is a marine equipment and servicing company with offices across the Asia-Pacific area. Its Vietnam office is based in Hanoi and the company is set to open an office in Hai Phong, close to the country’s northern shipbuilding and repair hub. It also has a presence in the south.

Grant Welch, Managing Director, Seven Bridges Maritime (Vietnam), said: “China, Korea and Singapore are well represented by companies supplying wastewater treatment systems, but despite the country’s growing maritime importance, Vietnam remains under-supplied in this market. The agreement we have signed with ACO Marine will help ensure that the country’s shipbuilders and repairers now have the access they need for quality wastewater management solutions.”

Under the agreement, Seven Bridges Maritime will be responsible for the country-wide sales and marketing of the ACO Marine portfolio, which includes the Maripur and Clarimar wastewater treatment systems, Lipator grease separators, grease traps, drainage channels, pipework and vacuum pumps, toilets and sanitation systems.

Seven Bridges will also support the supply of equipment with engineering services, installation approvals, system commissioning, and equipment servicing and maintenance.
Mark Beavis, Managing Director, ACO Marine, said: “We have been looking at establishing a sales and service position in Vietnam for some time, so the initial approach by Grant was very timely indeed.

“Vietnam’s maritime industry is forecast for rapid expansion in coming years, with the country expected to become a maritime industry powerhouse by 2030. Analysts have predicted that maritime-related business will account for 50% of Vietnam’s economy next year.

“The distribution agreement we have signed with Seven Bridges supports the country’s shipbuilders in their commitment to delivering quality, competitive products for domestic and international markets.”

Vietnam’s shipbuilding sector currently centres around nine major shipyards, divided into three clusters. In the south there are two facilities each with drydock capacity for vessels up to 50,000dwt. In the central area, four yards can accommodate larger vessels up to 30,000dwt, while three northern yards are capable of building and repairing vessels up to 70,000dwt. In total, the country has twenty shipyards, of which eight are state-owned. Eight yards are operated by foreign interests.

“Vietnam has and continues to invest in its maritime infrastructure,” said Welch. “The country’s economic expansion is now positively impacting the Vietnamese maritime industries as domestic owners look to renew and upgrade an ageing fleet. ACO Marine is now well positioned to serve this market.”

In Halong Bay, an area regularly visited by more than 500 domestic cruise ships each year, wastewater streams are currently discharged to barges for treatment shoreside.

“There are tremendous opportunities in Vietnam to retrofit our wastewater management solutions to these vessels and smaller day cruisers to reduce the costs associated with shoreside wastewater disposal,” said Beavis.