Boskalis to cut more than 600 jobs, drops 24 vessels

Offshore staff

PAPENDRECHT, the NetherlandsRoyal Boskalis Westminster NV says it will cut 650 jobs worldwide and take 24 vessels out of service through 2018, following the recent completion of its fleet rationalization study. The company said the study, originally announced in March with its FY 2015 results, was prompted “in light of deteriorating market conditions and an expected prolonged period of low energy and commodity prices.”

The company said that while compulsory redundancies “unfortunately [looked] to be unavoidable,” it would attempt to absorb the work force reduction through attrition and redeployment wherever possible, compulsory redundancies unfortunately look to be unavoidable.

Of the 650 global job losses, Boskalis said that around 150 Dutch staff on Dutch payroll are affected, has requested the formal opinion of the Dutch Works Council and will invite the trade unions to consult on a social plan in the short term.

CEO Peter Berdowski said: “After a few very busy years the market outlook for Boskalis has changed drastically as a result of continuing low energy and commodity prices. The volume of work in the market has fallen sharply and this is putting pressure on the utilization rate of our vessels. Because we expect these market conditions to persist in the coming years it is essential that we adapt the size and composition of our fleet to this new reality.”

Berdowski confirmed today that cuts would come from its Dredging and Offshore Energy divisions, as the company originally announced. Ten vessels from Dredging and 14 at the Offshore Energy division are expected to be dropped, including trailing suction hopper dredgers, cutter suction dredgers, anchor handling tugs, and heavy transport vessels.

The fleet rationalization will be implemented through the scrapping, sale, and lay-up of vessels. The average age of the vessels earmarked for scrapping or sale is in excess of 30 years. Vessels offered for scrapping will be dismantled at certified shipyards in accordance with the Hong Kong Convention and Boskalis’ own standards.


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