Following a strategic review, the Netherlands-based Heerema intends to divest a significant part of its capability for the design and construction of structures for the offshore market.
Heerema Fabrication Group (HFG) has been struggling for some time with insufficient project volume and what the company described as “marginal profitability.”
In addition, the company said, “the risks associated with building topsides are high and clients are not prepared to pay for this risk.”
As a result of the divestment, HFG intends to dispose of its activities at Zwijndrecht in the Netherlands and Hartlepool in the UK.
The intended restructuring will see the closure of HFG’s head office in the Netherlands. It is anticipated that 60 jobs at the company’s headquarters will be phased out.
HFG has signed a letter of intent to sell its activities at the yard in Zwijndrecht to Italian engineering and construction company Rosetti Marino SpA. It is expected that the transfer of activity will not affect the workforce at the Zwijndrecht yard.
HFG also intends to seek a buyer for its activities in Hartlepool. The activities at the HFG yard in Vlissingen, also in the Netherlands and Opole in Poland will continue as they are.
HFG chief executive Koos-Jan Van Brouwershaven said “We are very much aware that the plans will have an impact on our staff at the head office in Zwijndrecht. We will be providing all the support we can offer in this very difficult period.”
The divestment follows a restructuring of HFG in November 2016 that took place against the background of a low oil price, a lack of investment in the oil and gas industry and what Heerema described as “unfavourable contractual conditions in the wind energy market.”
The restructuring was based on the expectation that the market would improve from 2019 onwards, but Mr Van Brouwershaven said he is disappointed that the reorganisation did not bring HFG the results it needed. “With the ongoing difficult market conditions there is not enough perspective for HFG to continue its activity with the current structure and head office organisation,” he said.
The HFG yard in Vlissingen, supported by the yard in Poland, will remain focused on constructing jackets for the offshore industry and will continue to act as shore base for its sister company Heerema Marine Contractors.