The Expand pillar of our strategy is mainly focused on the Offshore Energy activity. Despite the current conditions in the oil and gas sector, with relatively low oil prices and reluctance on the part of the clients to undertake major investments in new offshore projects, this market segment offers a lot of opportunities in the longer term. Even in a market that can be described as challenging in the short term there are opportunities, like anti-cyclical investments or acquisitions.
Following the acquisitions of SMIT, Dockwise and Fairmount, Boskalis is extremely well-equipped to supply clients in the offshore energy sector under increasingly complex conditions with people and own equipment globally. In addition the combination of assets along with Boskalis’ project management experience and engineering knowledge enables an accelerated realization of the strategic ambition to carry out integrated Transport, Logistics & Installation (TL&I) projects (see figure 5).
Boskalis has a strong position in dry heavy marine transport, for example of extremely heavy offshore platforms and Floating Production, Storage and Offloading units (FPSOs). As stated in the Corporate Business Plan 2014-2016 it is our ambition to selectively expand this market position with assets to further strengthen the broad Boskalis portfolio from wet towage to dry transport.
In early 2014 we acquired Fairmount as part of the Expand strategy. With five large anchor handling tugs we expandedo ur position in wet towage. In early 2015 the White Marlin was taken into service, a new Dockwise type I vessel with a deadweight of 72,000 metric tons. 2014 was a record year for Dockwise with several high-profile large transports.
Boskalis particularly sees opportunities for growth in onshore developments at remote locations. There is a global requirement for logistics services in connection with the shipping and installation of for example prefab modules for LNG production. Boskalis leverages the opportunities in this sector by combining its broad knowledge of project management with its own specialist equipment.
In 2014 we also achieved various good results in Logistics. The Gorgon project in Western Australia was successfully concluded with the delivery of the final modules for the project. A lot of work was also carried out on the Ichthys project in Northern Australia, which we expect to conclude in late 2015. In 201, we started work on the sizable Wheatstone logistics project, involving a total of almost 50 transports from Malaysia and China to Australia. We notice in the market that this type of modular construction for projects in remote locations is very attractive and therefore offers opportunities for the future.
The transportation and subsequent installation of facilities (T&I) is a large and interesting market where a great deal of knowledge and experience is required. It particularly offers Boskalis opportunities for employing its engineering knowledge, experience in risk management and its versatile fleet.
We successfully expanded our T&I track record in 2014. In the Philipines we carried out a significant part of the Malampaya project for Shell, in Malaysia Dockwise successfully completed the transport and float-over installation of the Tapis R topside, while the Heera topside was transported from Vietnam to India, where it was installed. Dockwise transported a large offshore converter station from the United Arab Emirates for which the float-over installation is scheduled to take place in the second half of 2015.
To ensure the successful implementation of the growth strategy in this sector Boskalis will make selective investments in assets such as marine transport equipment and ships with installation technology, as well as in competencies. In the year under review we invested in three new Giant barges, one of which has been further adapted into a self-propelled construction vessel with accommodation and a crane with a lift capacity of 600 tons.
For our installation activities we have announced our intention to invest in specific equipment for the support of offshore construction wor k, such as multifunctional construction support vessels and lifting capacity. We anticipate that the current market turbulence will present not only threats, but also opportunities for the acquisition of interesting assets as well as companies. We will weigh such opportunities with the necessary care.
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