The winner of the 2017 Shipowner of the Year award, which was sponsored by V. Ships Offshore, has been quick to take advantage of opportunities outside the offshore oil and gas industry by fine tuning its offering
Awarded to a company which above all other companies has shown excellence in the operation of its ships and has, in the past year, demonstrated an exemplary record of achievement in the management of one or more of business development and growth, of safety, quality, efficiency and environmental sustainability, the winner of the 2017 Shipowner of the Year award, Vroon Offshore, has expanded into new markets and new regions in the last 12 months.
Jan-Piet Baars, director offshore at Vroon Group BV and Craig Harvie, managing director of Vroon Offshore Services, professed themselves “delighted and honoured” to accept the award on behalf of the company.
Vroon Offshore Services received the award in recognition of its ability to re-role vessels and move into the offshore wind, the walk-to-work market and related market segments and for its initiatives offshore East Africa.
“This is a fantastic achievement and recognition of the wider Vroon Offshore Services offering in the current, challenging market,” said Mr Baars. “Everyone at Vroon Offshore Services, offshore and onshore, has played a part in contributing to this award and recognition of the company’s achievements.”
Mr Baars said receiving the award was “an especially good win” in such a difficult and challenging market. Interviewed after the awards ceremony, Mr Baars said teamwork and making sure that Vroon Offshore “contributed to the success of its clients” lay at the heart of what the company had achieved.
“We decided which markets we wanted to work in, and made sure we won in those markets,” he said. Mr Baars said he was particularly pleased at the way that the company had responded to growing demand for walk-to-work vessels that could provide “stepless transfer” from a vessel to a platform, be it an offshore structure or an offshore wind turbine.
Mr Baars said: “We have fine-tuned the services we offer potential clients and optimised and maximised what we can offer them, working closely with stakeholders and partners.”
Vroon Offshore recently confirmed that one of its walk-to-work vessels, Vos Start, is to be fitted with Barge Master’s new Barge Master Gangway, a system that also enables transfer of personnel and cargo. The Barge Master Gangway incorporates an access tower with an elevator, providing stepless access. An adjustable pedestal enables it to connect at different heights. The vessel fitted with the gangway will be available for projects in the second quarter of 2017. “Our next-generation walk-to-work vessel Vos Start will offer a very high standard of onboard accommodation for up to 60 client personnel plus a walk-to-work configuration,” Mr Baars explained.
With the energies of vessel owners offshore East Africa focused on creating solid foundations for future work, Mozambique is seen as a potential bright spot in an otherwise depressed offshore oil and gas market. Several owners have established local entities to take advantage of tendering opportunities that are starting to trickle in for projects commencing in 2019 and 2020, Vroon Offshore being a notable example, having recently established a Mozambique entity, Vroon Offshore Services Limitada. In the longer term the company aims to locate a vessel in Pemba, both as part of building a long-term presence and to take advantage of interim local requirements in an area that has no spot market.
Other entrants shortlisted for the Shipowner of the Year award were:
- Topaz Energy and Marine, for its ability to deliver stable results in the last three quarters and diversify into new markets such as a contract for Module Carrying Vessels for TCO won with Blue Water Shipping
- BS Offshore, for Bernhard Schulte’s entry into the offshore industry through BS Offshore, the offshore unit of Bernhard Schulte
- Halul Offshore, for its ongoing expansion beyond Qatar and the Gulf Cooperation Council states, recent contract wins and commitment to safe operations.