Bergen Group ASA: Pioneering Maritime and Offshore Services

The quay to success

Established in 2007, the Bergen Group ASA covers all aspects of maritime, offshore, shipbuilding and technological services throughout its comprehensive network of Bergen companies.

Originally founded as Bergen Yard Holding, the organisation acquired 23 offshore-related companies to make it into the Bergen Group. These divisions and subsidiaries are strategically distributed along the Norwegian coastline from Kirkenes in the north to Stavanger in the south. Bergen Group Offshore involves a collection of subsidiaries that joined the Group in 2008; some of these companies have been operating in the offshore industry for 25 years and have worked with the likes of Aker Kvaerner on a number of key contracts. The main subdivisions of Bergen Offshore include; Bergen Group Rosenberg, Bergen Group Kimek Offshore, Bergen Group Hanøytangen and Bergen Group Engineering.

Kjetil Forland, vice president of Bergen Group Offshore outlines its main operations: “We carry out EPC contracts and works, modification and maintenance projects, SPS, new builds such as modules, topsides, subsea constructions and manifolds, as well as EPC contracts for onshore installations for oil and gas companies. An important part of the company is Hanøytangen where there is a focus on the mobile rig/unit market in regards to maintenance, upgrades, classifications and inspection work, while the engineering sector handles all kinds of engineering queries for the oil and gas market. Though the separate companies operate as individual entities, having the possibility of collaboration is a key strength of the company. For example, if we don’t have the capacity in Hanøytangen, we are able to send a client to Rosenberg, meaning that we are still able to deliver the project on time and on budget with minimal hassle for the customer.”

Throughout its existence the organisation has served some of the world’s leading oil and gas companies, including the international rig operator Transocean, for which it has worked on a number of rig units, StatoilHydro and ConocoPhillips for fixed platforms, Aker Kvaerner for rig new-builds and British Petroleum. Bergen Group Offshore’s highly-skilled staff and facilities are the core strength of the company, enabling it to build its portfolio of successful projects to appeal to such a range of international market leaders. Following this, having such a range of strategic positions along the essential area of the North Sea means it is able to better serve the needs of its core client base. For example, the Hanøytangen location is ideally situated for carrying out large-scale offshore projects with its easy access to the sea, fast communications, fully equipped quays, electricity and ample water supply, as well as its skilled personnel base making it highly suitable for purposes requiring great dimensions. In addition, the location has earned itself the status of having North Europe’s second largest dry dock, making it a key competitor in the marketplace.

Bergen Group Offshore is on a perpetual cycle of improvement, with a number of expansion plans currently being completed and in the pipeline. Kjetil explains the company’s activities: “We have plans to expand the Hanøytangen facility to create an industrial cluster in order to be a leading supply partner for the offshore and maritime service market. The idea behind this is that customers won’t need to visit more than one location to get the work done. We’ll be able to perform larger maintenance and upgrade projects for rigs/mobile units, as well as floating vessels such as ROV, diving and construction vessels. The developments started last September with the construction of a new deepwater quay which measures 20 metres deep and involved the blasting of over 350,000 cubes of rock for the structure, we have plans to build another over the next two years. Aside from that, we have just finished facilities for over 400 people and offices for 100. We are carrying out the improvements in stages starting with the dock and quay and continuing over the next three to five years until we are satisfied that the area is suitable for a range of different companies and industries.”

The organisation’s latest major contract is for Transocean, for the deliverance of three rig unit upgrades that are all in varying stages of development. Separately named, the Transocean Searcher is currently completed; the Polar Pioneer is being developed at the quayside and will be in situ for 80 days, and the final unit, the Transocean Arctic, is 50 days from completion. The yard has the capacity to work on two units at the same time and the two organisations formed a friendly agreement, which gives Transocean the option of having an additional unit upgraded.

The contract is worth over 500 million NOK and, depending on how many work packages Bergen Offshore achieves, this framework should be met. Furthermore, to secure project expertise and project execution capacity Bergen Group Hanøytangen has entered into a joint venture agreement with Aberdeen based Global Energy Group Ltd. This further strengthens the ability to deliver projects on time and budget in line with Bergen Group’s high standards of quality and commitment to health, safety and environment.

A new area for the company in recent years has been in the renewable energy sector, working with a Norwegian utility company for the development of an installation and maintenance Offshoreplan for on and offshore windmills. Bergen Group Offshore’s deepwater facilities are ideal for handling this sort of installation and floating windmills, especially as some of its facilities reach a depth of 96 metres. The organisation’s engineering capabilities ensure its adaptability in an ever-changing sector.

Kjetil outlines the company’s experience of the current industry conditions: “Of course the economic situation is challenging and no one can tell what will happen in the future, but oil operators and companies are increasing their activities regarding upgrades and modifications. With the changing licensing, rules and regulations, operators are committed to make necessary modifications on their units, rigs or vessels to deliver oil or gas on deck, on time and budget – we have the facilities to keep companies up-to-date. In five years time we aim to be the market leader in floating or jack up rigs, continuously supporting the oil and gas industry with expert service, as well as developing in the Norwegian shelf and on the Russian side of the market. We are realistic about potential in the current market, while at the same time highly optimistic about our future.”

Bergen Group Offshore

Services: Maritime and offshore