Finnish expertise in Gulf clean-up


Equipment developed by the Finnish company Lamor played a key role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill clean-up.

In autumn 2010 the clean-up after the spring’s oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico was still underway. From the start, the operation had involved equipment from Lamor, a Finnish firm specialised in oil containment.

”Most of the oil was collected during the summer. However the follow-up work continued for a long time,” says Lamor’s CEO, Fred Larsen.

Soon after news of the oil-well disaster broke in late April 2010, the phones began ringing at Lamor, a family-owned business in Porvoo, east of Helsinki. The firm, which has had a long-running partnership with British Petroleum, knew it had a busy summer ahead.

”Working together with BP, we drew up an oil containment programme. We also immediately met with representatives of Finnair Cargo and the forwarding company Waco Logistics as to how we could get the equipment delivered as quickly as possible to the site,” Larsen says.

Flexibility and speed

Stepped-up production began in Porvoo with the help of 200 subcontractors.

”The first equipment delivery was ready to go within a few days. In the first month, we delivered as much equipment to the disaster area as we usually deliver in a whole year,” Larsen says.

Finnair Cargo’s Sales Manager, Matti Paaso, points out that there were a number of challenges in delivering the oil containment equipment.

”Along with constantly-changing schedules, we also had to make adjustments because of the size of the machines. The power packs fit easily into the hold of the aircraft, but some of the skimmers had to be transported on other routes,” Paaso says.

Finnair Cargo transported about 220,000 kilos worth of Lamor equipment on more than 80 flights. On top of this, Lamor’s factory in China sent more than 500 kilometres of oil containment booms to the Gulf of Mexico.

”Comprehensive planning of the logistics and the delivery chain played a decisive role,” says Fredrik Wildtgrube, Sales and Marketing Director at Waco Logistics.

“Arranging the deliveries and staying on schedule required flexibility and quick reaction times.” 

Linking the chain

Testifying to the successful cooperation between Lamor, Waco and Finnair Cargo is the fact that Lamor was able to equip as many as 10 vessels a day with oil collection devices – while other suppliers were only able to equip two or three a week.

”This is only possible if the background planning and logistics are carefully executed,” notes Larsen. “If one link in the chain doesn’t work, the whole process slows down.”

Altogether, Lamor equipped more than 450 fishing boats in the Gulf with collection units. As of early autumn 2010, the firm still had about 20 employees in Mississippi, installing and maintaining equipment and training local oil collectors. 

Text by Olli Manninen
Photo by Lamor 

Published August 15, 2011

Category: Collaboration, Environment