Entrepreneur Sigmund Larsen had a good idea in the Dubai desert. But how could he attract the interest of investors and potential customers?
The solution was 3D animations from Nagelld.
– Clean water is a scarce resource, and the number of people in the world is not exactly diminishing, says Sigmund Larsen, founder and director of EnviroNor AS.
The former operations director for Odfjell Tankers is visiting the Nagelld office in Frekhaug, Meland, outside Bergen. He has established his own office just a stone’s throw away. In 2011 Larsen left a safe job in order to start up for himself.
– I was operations director at Odfjell Tankers. It was a fantastic job, but if I wanted to do something new, I had to make a decision before it was too late. I took the leap into the unknown, says Larsen.
A good idea
He wants to provide efficient and easy access to clean water, especially in parts of the world where drinking water is a scarce commodity. And he wants to do it at sea, with the help of existing ships that will be converted into floating water treatment facilities.
The idea started to mature already in 2008, after a desert safari with the family in Dubai.
On the way out of the desert he noticed tank trucks in a queue of traffic. Miles and miles of queuing traffic.
– They proved to be trucks transporting sewage to a water treatment plant in the desert. The problem was that some of the drivers dumped their cargo before they arrived at their destination. This created a major environmental problem, he says.
Floating water treatment facility
That was when he had his idea. Why not build a water treatment facility on board a ship that can be located off the coast, without causing inconvenience to the inhabitants of nearby towns?
– A converted ship with a subsea hose, 15-20 km off the coast, with a water treatment facility for sewage and salt water on board. That was the thought that started to take form in my head, says Larsen.
EnviroNor AS was founded on 15 March 2011. The previous year there had been a lot of late-night reading – about water and lack of water.
– The issue of water is huge, and the market is big. I read analyses of 3-4000 towns. The common denominator is that urbanisation leads to water shortages in many parts of the world.
– My idea is to re-use ships. We have always had a guilty conscience in shipping.
A green upside
The risk profile of oil companies and easy access to new vessels often makes existing ships «old» before their time.
– Many such ships are in good condition, and if they are lying idle rather than being used to transport cargo, 30-year-old vessels can be well suited as a base for a water treatment facility, he says, stating:
Sigmund Larsen, EnviroNor
– There is a major green upside. We make use of ships that would otherwise have been scrapped or laid up. In addition, we treat sewage and salt water to produce drinking water, and it is 30 percent cheaper to convert a ship than to build a land-based water treatment plant.
But Larsen was faced with the same challenge as other entrepreneurs: You can have the best idea in the world, but it doesn’t help if no-one gets to know about it?
It can be difficult to sell a technical solution.
– Of course, I can sit and talk about it for hours on end without the listeners understanding anything of what I say. That is why I contacted Nagelld, says Larsen.
The be-all and end-all
Nagelld has made a series of visualisations of the water treatment facilities that EnviroNor wants to build on board ships. In the meeting room one lifelike film after the other rolls across the screen. Everything is data graphics that have been put together to produce different presentation films.
Larsen smiles with satisfaction:
– A visualisation like this is the be-all and end-all to get investors and other interested parties to understand what you are doing. The problem is that one of the films is so detailed that I have chosen to keep it to myself for the time being. It is important to protect the business idea at this stage, says Larsen.
LISTENING: Managing Director of Nagelld, Helge Bjordal, as always in close dialogue with customers.
Larsen and EnviroNor are extremely happy with the job Nagelld has done so far, and the next commission is right around the corner.
– The next visualisation project will be to show the entire water flow on the vessel; the water treatment process from start to finish, so that those who are sitting and watching will be able to follow the entire process, says Larsen and finishes by saying:
– We are going to revolutionise water treatment, and we will do it at sea.
EnviroNor presentation film produced by NagelId
The impossible possible
Aquaculture/ fisheries >>
Shipping/ maritime >>
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The impossible possible >>