A bright future
Designed to meet the demands set by challenges in the deepwater and hostile environments of the oil and gas industry, Floatel International Ltd was founded in 2006 to own and operate the most modern fleet of accommodation and construction support vessels (floatels).
The goal for the company is to own a fully comprehensive fleet that offers superior living standards and more advanced support services than existing fleets already offer. Since its inception the organisation has established a subsidiary known as Floatel International AB based in Gothenburg Sweden, to provide an onshore collaboration for the company, offering operational services and supervision of new building projects on behalf of the owner. This company also provides marketing services for vessels to the oil and gas industry, managed by a team of expert personnel with experience spanning over two decades.
The main activities of Floatel International to date have been in the construction and development of two new accommodation and construction vessels at the KeppelFELS shipyard in Singapore. These two units are to be known as the Floatel Superior and the Floatel Reliance and are due to be frontrunners in the field, as Peter Jacobsson, CEO of the company, explains: “These modern accommodation vessels meet all the current legislation for worldwide operation and that is unique to the industry – these vessels will literally be able to operate anywhere across the globe. There has been only one new accommodation vessel built since the 1990s and the potential replacement of this ancient fleet with an average age of 25 years has been well received by those in the oil and gas industry who are facing developing demands from increased activity across the market. There are a number of drilling rigs being built and new wells explored, as well as an increasing range of maintenance requirements for older facilities, but the construction support is not apparent. Such a variety of demands will be well met by these new vessels, ensuring their popularity for future contracts.”
The Floatel Superior is due to be delivered in April 2010 and has been specifically designed for operation in the harsh environment of the North Sea, an area that requires strict regulatory and legislation measures. The vessel has been expertly designed to not only meet these regulations, but accommodate 440 people in single cabins or 600 in doubles, as well as provide 50 offices for client use. Both of the units are equipped with two large cranes for the transfer of goods and materials to offshore installations. The Floatel Superior offers full HSE compliance including strict noise level requirements, recreation facilities, free fall lifeboats, escape chutes, reduced exhaust emissions, lower fuel consumption and a biological treatment plant. In addition, both units feature a telescopic gangway for the safe transit of personnel and goods to and from an installation, with an enclosed, protected access point to the gangway from the accommodation areas.
The second unit, the Floatel Reliance, will be delivered at the end of 2010 and is a deepwater semi-submersible vessel designed for cost effective operations in a moderate environment and to assist in the support of other offshore facilities. It has accommodation capacity for 500 people, 40 offices and is equipped with crane capabilities of 120 tonnes, large open deck area and construction support. The Reliance will target areas outside the North Sea such as the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, West Africa and the Asia Pacific region.
Peter outlines the recent changes in the business: “Our present activities are dominated by overseeing the construction work in Singapore, monitoring the progress of the vessels to ensure the project is running to schedule and on budget, which so far it has been. We have also started the marketing of the two vessels even though it is fairly long before they are being delivered. There are several requirements being pursued at the moment but nothing has been signed so far. In addition, we have increased our workforce by bringing in more seagoing employees, as well as onshore personnel especially in the HSE field where we have expansion plans.”
Over the past year, Floatel International has experienced a marginal reduction in the activity level as some operators adjust their plans due to the global influence of the economic crisis. However the future of the company rests on the potential of its two new vessels and as such is focusing its attentions on the identified core areas. Peter is remaining positive: “There is nothing we can do about the economic downturn and nobody can predict what is going to happen, so we are not going to change our strategy because of it. We are marketing these two vessels for worldwide operation, pursuing all avenues and not focusing on one specific market. Our future obviously depends on the success of the Superior and Reliance, and the contract coverage they achieve, but depending on the next two years we definitely have ambitions to expand our facilities and industry provision.”
Services Accommodation and construction support vessels