Boskalis to Reduce Fleet by 24, Workforce by 650
Royal Boskalis Westminster has decided to take 24 vessels out of service in the coming two years, which will result in the loss of approximately 650 jobs worldwide during this period.
The company based the decision on the results of its fleet rationalization study that was initiated in light of deteriorating market conditions and an expected prolonged period of low energy and commodity prices.
Peter Berdowski, CEO Boskalis: “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.
“We are fully aware that this intended decision is drastic and that it will have a major social impact. While we will try to absorb the work force reduction through attrition and redeployment wherever possible, compulsory redundancies unfortunately look to be unavoidable. A reduction of the number of vessels and jobs is however necessary to ensure that Boskalis remains healthy going forward.”
Of the 24 vessels that will be taken out of service in the 2016-2018 period, ten are at the Dredging division and fourteen at the Offshore Energy division. These will include trailing suction hopper dredgers, cutter suction dredgers, anchor handling tugs and heavy transport vessels.
The fleet rationalization will also have implications for the workforce, with a total of around 650 employees to be made redundant. In terms of composition it concerns a cross-section of nationalities, with around 150 Dutch staff on Dutch payroll being affected. Where possible the workforce reduction will be absorbed through attrition and redeployment. Despite this, compulsory redundancies cannot be ruled out, the company said and added that it had 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.