DEME in 2010 – Nearshore and Offshore Marine Works (Belgium)

DEME is one of the largest marine engineering companies in the world. From its core activities, dredging and civil marine engineering, the group has developed complementary activities such as environmental engineering (treatment of soil and sludge), services for the oil and gas sector and extraction of construction aggregates from the sea.

Financial overview 2010

For DEME, 2010 can rightly be called a record year. Over the year, the group achieved a turnover growth of 28%, attaining a turnover of 1,801 million euros. European markets accounted for a large part of the turnover with, among others, major contracts for the London Gateway container terminal and various large-scale offshore wind farms in the North Sea. In addition, DEME was very active in Africa and South America and on the expanding Russian market.

DEME’s Contracting, dredging and concessions activities in the oil and gas sector and marine infrastructure projects continue to be an important instrument in the Middle East. Through a number of large and complex remediation contracts, the environmental branches also gained a foothold in the rest of Europe and in America. With specialised marine and offshore hydraulic engineering companies like GeoSea and Tideway, DEME managed to secure a growing share of the quickly expanding market segment of offshore wind energy. In addition, the setting up of new initiatives in the area of so-called ‘blue energy’ further consolidated DEME’s reputation as a pioneer in the development of environmentally-friendly energy production.

The order book was renewed to a very large extent (1,935 million euros compared to 2,122 million euros at the end of 2009). Moreover, new orders amounting to 500 million euros have already been booked in the beginning of 2011. The order book now includes numerous new assignments throughout the world, for example in Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, Panama, Mexico and Angola.

Operational cash flow (EBITDA) grew by 14% to 328.7 million euros, which accounted for 18.3% of turnover. This EBITDA margin was influenced by the renting of additional ships and by the larger share of general contracting orders. The net profit increased by 13% from 103.0 million euros to 116.5 million euros.

DEME in 2010 - Nearshore and Offshore Marine Works (Belgium)

DEME’s investment programme is advancing at full speed, and after the delivery of 6 new vessels in 2009, 2010 saw the commissioning of the ‘Samson’, a heavy-duty backacter. Currently, 8 more vessels are being built: the fall-pipe vessel ‘Flintstone’; the gravel trailer ‘Victor Horta’; two 12,860 kW seagoing cutter suction dredgers, i.e. the ‘Al Jarraf’ and the ‘Amazone’; the hopper dredger ‘Breughel’, with a capacity of 11,000 m³; the DP2 jack-up platform ‘Neptune’; the Next Generation+ mega trailing suction dredger ‘Congo River’, with a 30,000 m³ hold; and the world’s most powerful seagoing rock cutter dredger, ‘Ambiorix’.

Operational overview 2010

Nearshore and offshore marine works

GeoSea is the specialised DEME company focusing on rock drilling and installations for the construction of jetty foundations and mooring systems, the installation of offshore structures, offshore wind farms and geotechnical investigations at large depths. The company largely doubled its turnover for 2009 and expects to see strong growth over the coming years, as increasing attention for renewable energy constitutes a major driving force behind offshore wind farm construction. Thanks to GeoSea’s experience in this specialist field, major contracts were signed in Germany, the United Kingdom and Australia.

In Zeebrugge (Belgium), the landfall for the Belwind project’s cable connection was set up using remote-controlled horizontal drilling.

Large-scale projects involving the building of a wind farm in Walney (51 turbines in the Irish Sea) were completed on behalf of Dong Energy and, with the help of ‘Goliath’, which was commissioned at the end of 2009, pre-piling weighing up to 600 tonnes was positioned in the seabed. At the same time, under a joint venture with Scaldis, GeoSea brought in the jack-up platform ‘Buzzard’ to successfully complete the Ormonde project. On this occasion, use was made of a newly developed underwater frame to install pre-piling. The company was awarded a number of new assignments for the Borkum West offshore wind farm north of the German coast, while at the same time the Baltic II contract was signed for 80 offshore foundations, jackets and pre-piling.

GeoSea is installing the foundations and turbines on the Thornton Bank on behalf of C-Power. DEME’s offshore maintenance branch, Offshore Wind Assistance, once again carried out inspection activities in the framework of this project, for which it also concluded a contract with Repower.

Project development and concessions

In 2010, DEME continued its efforts to become involved in the development of new projects at the earliest possible stage through concession agreements and PPP (Public-Private Partnership) agreements.

Within the specialisation of offshore wind farms, DEME launched initiatives in several European countries through its concession specialist, Power@Sea. The most significant example of this is the participation of Power@Sea in the C-Power project on the Thornton Bank. Power@Sea is also involved in the development of new offshore wind projects in the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and Poland.

The activities of the newcomer in the group, DEME Blue Energy (DBE), in the area of tidal and wave energy perfectly complement DEME’s strategy to participate right from the very beginning in innovative projects that can ultimately create spin-offs benefiting the entire group. In line with this, DBE’s activities, in combination with GeoSea’s and Tideway’s experience in offshore wind energy, make DEME a spearhead for future breakthroughs and initiatives in the field of renewable energy.

Through synergies across the various disciplines, the central competence centre and the financial engineering department, which among other things coordinates project financing, DEME has, in its capacity as an all-inclusive service provider, developed solutions for complex offshore infrastructure projects. Moreover, thanks to these competencies, DEME can play an active role in the long-term development and planning of coastal protection along the Belgian coast, the so-called ‘Flanders Bays’ project. In addition, DEME is also participating in research projects, for example to develop new systems that generate electricity using wave energy, such as the FLANSEA project sponsored by IWT, the Flemish Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology.

Within the framework of a partnership, DEME has established the new CTOW (Combined Marine Terminal Operations Worldwide) to support its core activities. This company provides marine services, in the broadest sense of the word, to marine terminal operators, and as such makes it possible to also provide upstream services while benefiting from synergies with DEME’s competences.


Source: avh2010, April 26, 2011;