"Normec MTS's approach makes a huge difference"

man on ship staring at the sea

Spliethoff Group about working with Normec MTS



Spliethoff was founded in 1921 and has grown into a group of shipping companies with thousands of employees worldwide. With more than 130 vessels, the company provides all types of maritime transport of dry cargo, mainly in the form of project cargo.

Alex Fokkens is part of the shipping company’s Quality Health Safety Environment Department. One of his tasks is to manage the processes for the various water tests on board the ships. He talks about his association with Normec MTS.

The Normec MTS approach makes a huge difference

Alex: “As a global company, we have to comply with international legislation. I regularly attend courses for this purpose, and during one of those courses, I met Hans van der Wart, managing director of Normec MTS. I was immediately drawn to his background in the laboratory world, so when Spliethoff was looking for a new party to test the various water samples on board, I approached him. Our collaboration started with a small project on scrubber water testing. Our ships run on high sulphur fuel oil, the exhaust fumes of which must be cleaned in order to reduce the emission of sulphur into the air. This is done in scrubber plants with seawater. In order to comply with the regulations of both the IMO and the, specifically American, VGP, this wash water must be tested. Thanks to Normec MTS, we were able to do this with smaller, and therefore easier to ship, sample kits than we were used to before, which made a huge difference to us.”

Good employment practices

“After this successful introduction, Normec MTS also tested the ballast water for us. According to the regulations, we are obliged to have the treatment system certified. We also have to report annually to the US authorities when ships have called at a US port in that calendar year. This project also went very well, after which we jointly picked up and centralised the drinking water tests on board the ships. We are a leading shipping company operating worldwide, so we simply must be compliant. Although the testing of drinking water on board the vessels under Dutch flag is not a requirement, we consider the provision of good quality drinking water for our crews a matter of good employment practice. In principle, we test the drinking water once a year for all ships, unless abnormal values are measured. This is costly, but these are things you shouldn’t cut back on.”

“With Normec MTS’s hands-on approach, we know that everything will be resolved properly.”

Alex Fokkens
Quality Health Safety Security Environment Department, Spliethoff Group

Customisation and flexibility

“Together with Hans, Spliethoff wrote the sampling instructions for various ships. By literally coming on board and adapting the services to the situation, Normec MTS delivers customised solutions. We have specific wishes regarding the implementation of compliance processes, and Normec MTS handles this flexibly, which, incidentally, I think is their greatest advantage. When we need something, it is arranged very quickly, and even if adjustments are needed somewhere, they are carried out immediately. Those short lines of communication work very well. Of course, we have regulations to comply with, but thanks to Normec MTS’s hands-on approach, we know that everything will be resolved properly. The support we need for compliance processes is in good hands with Normec MTS.”

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