Mario Esche: Herose was founded in 1873 and, as such, we have abundant experience in manufacturing industrial valves for ship construction. Even so, our relationship with the cruise sector only began relatively recently, with the popularisation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a fuel source among operators. In 2013, we supplied valves for fuel gas supply systems for two vessels: the Bergensfjord and the Stavangerfjord. Four years on, those ships are still sailing with our valves.
The main advantage is, of course, that the operators will automatically comply with new IMO regulations set to come into force in January 2020. These new rules plan for a significant reduction in the sulphur content of the fuel oil used by ships to a limit of 0.5% mass by mass. Operators running their ships on LNG will also boost their corporate image by using environmentally friendly fuel systems, helping them to win over even more passengers. Everybody feels like he or she is providing their own contribution towards achieving worldwide climate targets.
We supply over 400,000 valves every year to clients in more than 80 countries worldwide. On a daily basis, we deploy our deep technical knowledge of producing cryogenic valves and apply them to the LNG industry. This is all the more challenging when one considers the specific safety considerations that have to be made when transporting LNG; whereas liquefied air gases are transported and stored at around -196°C, LNG is stored at -162°C in the fuel tank on board the ship. Herose also supplies safety, globe and check valves for the gas supply system, as well as a high number of actuated globe valves that can be operated by the technical engineers from the control room to navigate the LNG flow. This is in addition to the cryogenic valves we supply for bunkering facilities and the emergency shutdown valves we provide for the bunkering process, which will stop the LNG flow within seconds in an emergency.
In addition to our standardised product portfolio, Herose is able to tailor our valves to specific applications if the client so requests. Our team stands by to help the customer out in the selection and installation of our valves at all times, consulting closely with them during the commissioning, design and testing phases. We are also in the final stages of putting together a service and support team that will provide an on-site advisory service for our customers during the installation of our valves and any subsequent maintenance procedures.
Environmental sustainability is extremely important to us. In addition to using the produced heat of our compressors to warm up some of our production facilities, Herose is always looking to minimise the environmental impact of its products at every stage of the manufacturing process. Furthermore, we've made sure to do the same in our disposal of the raw, auxiliary and operating materials generated as by-products of the manufacturing process.
Herose is going to strengthen its position in the market for LNG-fuelled vessels and the surrounding facilities, such as bunker stations and receiving terminals. After we have finished putting together the service team that I previously mentioned, we will be able to provide even more customeroriented support during the different steps of a project life cycle. That will serve to underscore our expertise in the cold industry even more. Truly, we are cool individuals.