Meeting every challenge
Boskalis Offshore, part of Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V., is a leading global expert in offshore contracting and services.
Since the Group’s formation in 1910 its clients have looked to it to find cutting edge solutions for their specific requirements. Its track record includes a wide variety of demanding energy projects, which have firmly established the Boskalis name in the energy market.
As a Group, Royal Boskalis Westminster isactive in projects across the energy, port and infrastructure markets working with clients that include oil companies, port operators, governments, shipping companies, international project developers, insurance companies and mining companies. Demand for maritime services is being driven by a number of global trends such as growing energy consumption, growth in global trade and world population, and climate change. Royal Boskalis Westminster has a wide range of high quality services to deal with these, giving it excellent prospects for growth.
These have been added to in recent years through a number of key acquisitions including SMIT Internationale in 2010. For nearly 170 years SMIT has been providing maritime services ranging from towage and salvage to transport and heavy lift, and earned an excellent reputation around the world. Furthermore since 2011 Royal Boskalis Westminster has offeredterminal services through Smit Lamnalco, in which the company has a 50 per cent stake, andin the same year completed the acquisition of civil constructor MNO Vervat to complement its infrastructure and earthmoving activities.
In this vein, in 2012 Boskalis Offshore expanded further through the incorporationof the former heavy lift and subsea activities of SMIT Transport. This additional brand hasseen Boskalis Offshore become even more of a one-stop-shop solutions provider that is present across each phase of a project. So in pre-design Boskalis Offshore can help determinethe feasibility of a client’s business case before assisting in design to create a solution that fits those requirements.
As a main contractor the company can streamline execution by managing subcontractors and communicating with stakeholders, and provide cost-effective totalsolutions. Finally, at the end of the asset life cycle
Boskalis Offshore can reduce the total cost of ownership and limit the environmental footprint through its decommissioning capability.
Current services cover dredging, harbour towage, feasibility and design studies, salvage, transport and heavy lift, subsea inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) and infrastructure for projects such as oil and LNG import and export facilities, drilling and production facilities, pipelines and cables, onshore and offshore mining, and renewable energy.
This activity is contained within four dedicated subdivisions. The first of these is Subsea Contracting, which works within landfall solutions, trenching and backfilling, and rock and cable installation. This is followed by Marine Contracting, which offers transport and installation of fixed and floating offshore structures and decommissioning services, and Subsea Services, which specialises in tasks such as air/saturation diving and ROVs, subsea construction and removal, and IRM works. Finally, Marine Services serves the market with chartering of anchor handling tugs (AHTs), barges and sheerlegs, and complementary maritime project management and engineering.
Michiel Schoenmaeckers is commercially responsible for O&G related projects within the Marine Contracting banner. Describing the current direction of focus, he says: “We have further established our services relating to floating facilities by securing the hook-up of the Enquest Producer FPSO, and the mooring installation and hook-up of the OSX-3 FPSO in the Campos Basin.
“The mooring system entails pre-installation of 12 driven piles and corresponding 120mm chains. This operation will be undertaken using a DP3 construction vessel with ROVs and piling equipment in quarter three 2013. The hook-up will then be executed with our AHTs,” he continues.
Boskalis Offshore Marine Contracting also has a strong track record in decommissioning of both floating and fixed offshore structures. “Our most recent project was the removal and disposal of two platforms and one subsea dome in the North Sea last year as a major contractor on a lumpsum basis. Decommissioning is a key focus for the Marine Contracting business. We believe that with our knowledge, experience, and assets we can play a key role in the coming decommissioning requirements from the market,” states Michiel.
“We can provide integral decommissioning packages including preparatory removal works with our diving support vessels (DSVs), lifting and transport of the platforms with our sheerlegs and marine vessels, and disposal with our partners. The main challenges remain in obtaining complete and accurate data of the current facility status. Many assets have had several owners throughout the value chain, and consequently facility data regarding installations and alterations can be difficult to retrieve,” he notes.
In order to prepare itself for the future demands of its clients in the energy market, Boskalis Offshore has invested in the upgrade and expansion of its fleet. As well as the new fallpipe vessel Rockpiper, which was commissioned in 2012, the company has purchased four new AHT’s including two new builds, and two new N-class vessels, which will be commissioned later this year.
“The N-class vessels, NDurance and NDeavor, can be outfitted for cable-laying, dive support, rock installation, offshore installation and decommissioning, and salvage assignments,” highlights Michiel. “The NDurance will start cable-laying activities in Europe immediately upon joining our fleet. One of the vessels will serve as a construction support vessel (CSV) and as such have extensive deck space making it suitable for removal campaigns of subsea infrastructure.”
Another new piece of equipment is the Trenchformer – a multi-purpose cable trencher for a wide range of soils and cable types. Developed by Boskalis and VSMC, the Trenchformer can bury cables in deep and shallow waters, and operate as a stand-alone spread as well as work together with cable laying vessels. Currently, the Trenchformer is in its final construction state with sea trials scheduled to begin in May 2013.
Casting an eye towards the future, it would appear that these assets would be put to good use early on with a number of contracts already on Boskalis Offshore’s books. “For the near term we have a well-filled order book with many projects, of which a large number were acquired in 2012,” agrees Michiel. “This includes the West of Duddon Sands offshore wind farm project in the Irish Sea for DONG Energy and Scottish Power Renewables, various rock installation works for companies including Statoil, subsea inspection and maintenance contracts for companies like Maersk Oil, and a substantial offshore contract with Impex for the Ichthys project in Australia.”
At the same time there are even more fundamental developments taking place at Boskalis. The company has just purchased 99 per cent of shares within Dockwise, a provider of maritime services including transport services to the offshore and onshore industries and installation of extremely heavy offshore platforms, and is now planning to incorporate this into its business. It is believed that the combination of activities will place Boskalis in a better position to service clients with the optimal deployment of people and equipment, and enable it to fast track its ambition to enhance its capabilities with regard to transport and installation projects. “For the medium to longer term we are enthusiastic about strengthening our portfolio of services with the addition of Dockwise to the business, and the new opportunities this will create for the offshore energy market in the area of transport and installation,” Michiel concludes.
Services: Offshore contracting and services