Floatel International

A buoyant future

Established in 2006, Floatel International is today working to provide new accommodation vessels (floatels) and professional services to the oil and gas industry.

The company has an aim of owning and operating the most modern fleet of accommodation and construction support vessels across the world. The vessels are designed to support the increased activity in the oil and gas industry, including new projects in deep water and hostile environments. The vessels will provide superior living standards and more advanced support services than the existing floatel fleet does currently.

Floatel International has placed two orders at the KeppelFELS shipyard in Singapore for the manufacture and delivery of two accommodation and construction vessels, the Floatel Superior and the Floatel Reliance. Floatel International CEO, Peter Jacobsson describes the units: “The Floatel Superior, which will be delivered in early 2010, has been specifically designed for operation in the North Sea environment, which is an area with strict regulatory requirements and one of the most hostile environments in the world. The unit meets the stringent legislation for operation in this area.”

The Floatel Superior can accommodate 440 people in single cabins or 570 in doubles, has 50 offices for client use and both units are equipped with two large cranes for the transferral of goods and materials to the offshore installation. The unit offers full HSE compliance including strict noise level requirements, recreation facilities, lifeboats, escape chutes, reduced exhaust emissions, lower fuel consumption and a biological treatment plant. Both units also feature a telescopic gangway so personnel can move safely to the installation; there is an enclosed, protected access point to the gangway from the accommodation area.

The second unit, the Floatel Reliance, which will be delivered by the end of 2010, is a deepwater semi-submersible vessel designed for cost effective operations in a moderate environment and to assist in supporting other offshore facilities in close proximity. Peter outlines the main features of this unit: “The Floatel Reliance has accommodation capacity for 500 people and is equipped with a 120 tonnes crane, 40 offices and accommodation and construction support. The target area for the Reliance is outside the North Sea. It is being designed for operation in the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, West Africa and the Far East region.”

Peter explains why he believes the new fleet will be a success: “There has only been one new accommodation vessel built since the 1980s and the existing fleet is on average 25 years old, which was the original design life. The ancient existing fleet is why our new generation semisubmersibles have been so well received by oil and gas companies worldwide. Within the oil and gas industry the high demand for floatels, which results from the very high levels of activity we’re seeing at the moment, is not being met. There are a lot of drilling rigs being built and new wells are being explored but the construction support is not keeping up with the demand for new developments. There is also an increase in maintenance requirements, as the operators are trying to keep their facilities in use for as long as possible. Therefore the number of enquiries will continue to increase on a worldwide basis and we are very confident that we’ll be able to meet all the requirements from the operators and secure a contract for both our units in the near future. We also see great potential for our company to expand in these areas to meet the increasing interest.”

Floatel International also has a subsidiary, Floatel International AB, based in Gothenburg, Sweden, which employs 12 people and is responsible for the provision of onshore operational services and the supervision of the new building projects placed by Floatel International at the KeppelFELS shipyard in Singapore. The subsidiary also markets the vessels to the oil and gas industry on behalf of the parent company. At the shipyard office in Singapore Floatel International currently employs five people, which will be increased in accordance with the shipyard activities. Peter comments: “We’re currently recruiting more people to work at the site in Singapore and we’re going to begin recruiting sea-going personnel next year, in roughly nine to twelve months from now. Recruiting staff is something we have to do in all areas due to the high activity within this sector. We’re confident we can meet the challenge of increasing our workforce.”

Aside from recruiting, Peter describes what the company is focusing on at the moment: “Our activities are currently dominated by the construction work in Singapore, we’re focusing on tasks such as reviewing drawings and working out the best solutions for the shipyard. So, it’s all very much monitoring work; although the contracts with KeppelFELS are turnkey contracts, we still need to keep an eye on the construction process. They’re doing a fantastic job at the shipyard and everything is on schedule so far, so we expect both units to be delivered in time.”

Looking forward to next year, Peter is concentrating on the two new vessels: “The target for the next 12 months is to secure contracts for both units and we’re quite confident that we’ll be able to do that.”

Looking further ahead, Peter is aiming to grow the company: “The plans for the next five years are to expand the fleet either by acquisitions or the ordering of new vessels. That obviously depends on the market development and whether we can provide financial security for our investors.”

Peter is very optimistic about the future of the young business: “It’s a very buoyant market and as I mentioned earlier, the existing fleet is getting old, so I think most operators welcome a newcomer in this sector.” Floatel International’s recognition of the need for a modern fleet of accommodation and construction support vessels within the oil and gas industry has given it a huge advantage within this market. The company has already identified potential areas of growth and knows where to focus its attentions after the new fleet is in operation. For the moment the construction of the new vessels is still on schedule and they should provide a stable financial platform from which the company can grow.

Floatel International Ltd.

Services Accommodation and construction support vessels