Features, marine, interview

By Godfrey Nthunzi | September 25, 2018

OMX chats with Juha Pakomäki, Vice President of Procurement at ALMACO, ahead of the B2B Luncheon and Reception at DEFSEC next week. Hear his thoughts on marine procurement in Canada, the largest shipbuilding modernization ever, and 20 years of ALMACO.


Juha Pakomäki, Vice President of Procurement


OMX: Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started at ALMACO.

JP: Well, I'm Finnish but I grew up and went to high school in Pennsylvania, in the U.S. I speak four languages: Finnish, English, German, and Swedish.

I spent a year as a seaman in Finland before studying logistics engineering, specifically around international transportations and material handling. Before ALMACO, I had over a decade of procurement experience in leadership positions at several large and well-known companies, including ABB, the multinational technology corporation, and Rolls Royce, the ship’s propulsion manufacturer.

I started in ALMACO in 2015 - I couldn't pass up a chance to return to the sea and work with the leading marine systems supplier - and it's been smooth sailing since!


OMX: What kind of work does ALMACO do?

JP: We build and modernize accommodation and catering areas and systems in the marine, offshore, and construction industries. For catering, we do galleys; buffets, bars, and pantries; provision stores; and refrigeration machinery. For accommodations, we do cabins, wet units, public spaces, and complete living quarters.

Since our founding in 1998, we've completed almost 300 projects, built over 25,000 cabins and public spaces, and over 70 complete galleys. We do work all around the world - last year we visited over 48 countries and traveled over 11 million miles!


$1,777,820,124 in unclaimed marine opportunities  Did you know that Canada's offset policy states that 100% of defence  investments must go back to Canadian businesses?  That's $3,735,199,162 of unclaimed opportunities.   Learn more


OMX: What projects and programs have ALMACO worked on in the past in Canada?

JP: We partnered with Davie Shipbuilding for Project Resolve, the program to transform a containership into an Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR) vessel for the Royal Canadian Navy, last year.

We opened a site-office and setup assembly facilities at Davie to facilitate this huge project. ALMACO was responsible for the full engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) including cabins, public areas, galley, provision stores, wheelhouse, and technical spaces. We built the full 2,200-tonne superstructure in Finland and delivered it as a single structure for integration at Davie's shipyard in Quebec.

There's actually a great video that Davie made highlighting our partnership and the work we did on Project Resolve. There's a quote in there that says ALMACO is a world leader in marine accomodations and there's not much that we can't do - and I completely agree!


 A promotional video from Davie highlighting the partnership with ALMACO on Project Resolve


OMX: What's something really exciting ALMACO has done this year?

JP: We were recently part of a $120 million upgrade onboard Mariner of the Seas at the Cadiz Navantia shipyard where we built 38 new panoramic staterooms, 4 junior suites, and 2 inside staterooms as well as refurbished some public areas.

The ship’s revamping broke several records: the largest ship modernization ever performed, the largest construction project carried out in Spain, and the largest "hotel" in Spain at the time of the dry dock.

ALMACO also recently won a high double-digit million euro contract with Genting Group to outfit the cabins and public areas for their Global Class ships at the German MV WERFTEN Wismar shipyard, to be completed by 2020 and 2021.


OMX: What's next for ALMACO?

JP: We're really excited for DEFSEC next week as we prepare to expand further into the defense and marine sectors in Canada. We're hosting a B2B Luncheon and Reception with OMX, Davie, and a few other major buyers to expand our supplier network for this purpose. So the team and I are very excited to visit Halifax.

2018 actually marks the 20th year anniversary of ALMACO. We've recently restructured into three new divisions that form the core expertise of our company: accommodation systems, catering systems, and service - so that's where our focus is and that's where we're doing a lot of work. I'm very excited to see what new marine and offshore opportunities the next 20 years will bring!


Click to enlarge this infographic celebrating 20 years of ALMACO


Godfrey Nthunzi

Godfrey graduated from Rotman Commerce at the University of Toronto with a BComm in Management. Since graduating, he has gained extensive experience in the Information Technology industry in functions including sales, recruiting and operations. With this passion for startups and the technology sector, Godfrey has co-created a digital space to share experiences and best practices, and is host of a podcast series featuring young, upcoming entrepreneurs.

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