Pump company Svanehøj has appointed Hirohide Gohda as director and head of office in Kobe, Japan, strengthening the company’s presence in the important Japanese market as it focuses on expanding its position as a supplier of fuel and cargo pumps for gas carriers.
Gohda has extensive experience with LNG projects, which he has gained through a long career at Mitsubishi, where since 1994 he has managed Mitsubishi Corporation’s interests in LNG projects in the Asia-Pacific region. Most recently, he was deputy managing director at Mitsubishi in Australia, where he was also a board member of the LNG Marine Fuel Institute.
“With the appointment of Hirohide Gohda, we are reinforcing our goal for Svanehøj to be the preferred supplier of pump systems for gas carriers. Hirohide Gohda has a robust commercial and LNG trading capability, having spent a large part of his career focusing on contract negotiation and commercial roles associated with market development and the sale of LNG,” says sales director at Svanehøj, Johnny Houmann.
Svanehøj has supplied numerous specialized deepwell pumps for the newbuilding market in Japan. However, the competition is fierce, and in order to get closer to Japanese customers, Svanehøj chose to establish a sales office in Kobe last year. This has had a positive effect on order intake. Most recently, Svanehøj entered into a contract with Kawasaki Heavy Industries in October for the supply of pump systems for two new VLGCs.
“We have strengthened relationships with our Japanese customers because we can now service them locally,” says Houmann. “Our ambitions remain high and we see a significant new business potential for us in the Japanese market. But we are well aware that we can’t just rely on good products alone. Japan is a strong shipbuilding nation. In order to succeed we need in-depth insight into the market, language and culture. With Hirohide Gohda, we have now found the profile needed to take our Japanese business to the next level.”