Keppel Corporation has announced that the company plans to ‘transform’ its wholly owned subsidiary Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) with the goal of creating a company that is better placed to support the energy transition
As a result, Keppel O&M will exit the offshore rig-building business after completing projects currently under construction. In line with the group’s new approach towards capital allocation, Keppel O&M will not undertake any new project requiring large upfront capex or any without milestone payments. It will also progressively exit low value-adding repair work and other activity with a low bottom line contribution and focus on higher value-adding work.
Keppel Corporation chief executive and chairman of Keppel O&M Loh Chin Hua said, “The share of renewables and new energy solutions in the global energy mix has been growing rapidly.
“To seize opportunities in this fast-changing environment, we are making bold and decisive moves to transform Keppel O&M.
“We are also exploring inorganic options for the O&M business, but there is no assurance that any transaction will materialise. In the meantime, we believe that an organic restructuring of Keppel O&M will not only enhance its competitiveness, but also its attractiveness, if we were to undertake any inorganic action.”
As part of the transformation, Keppel O&M’s business will be restructured into three parts: a Rig Co and a Development Co (Dev Co), which will be transient entities created to hold approximately S$2.9Bn (US$2.2Bn) worth of completed and uncompleted rig assets; and, most importantly, an Operating Co (Op Co), comprising the rest of Keppel O&M, which will be transformed into an asset-light and people-light developer and integrator of offshore energy and infrastructure assets.
With a healthy balance sheet and undistracted by its stranded rig assets, the Op Co, which has a strong net orderbook of S$3.3Bn, 82% of which is in renewables and gas solutions, will seek opportunities in the energy transition, and is expected to be self-sustaining, financially independent and profitable over time.
Keppel O&M’s completed rigs will be placed under the Rig Co, which will put the completed rigs to work, or sell them if there are suitable opportunities. A dedicated team will be appointed to support its chartering and marketing activities. This will only be a transitional arrangement. As the oil market recovers, utilisation and day rates improve, and the rigs generate steady cashflow, the Rig Co will sell the rigs or collaborate with Keppel Capital to seek funding from external investors. A cash flow generating Rig Co can be monetised or spun off in the future. The Rig Co is expected to be self-sustaining and would only require limited initial funding to maintain the rigs.
Uncompleted rigs will come under the Dev Co, which will focus on completing the rigs, while prudently managing cash flow. Priority will be given to completing rigs that have firm contracts with customers. The Dev Co will be wound up once the rigs have been completed and delivered to customers, or transferred to the Rig Co, where they will be put to work or sold. The Dev Co would require some initial funding from Keppel, after which it is expected to operate independently.
The Rig Co and Dev Co are collectively expected to require about S$500M in net funding, mainly for the latter to complete the rigs. This will be provided progressively by Keppel Corporation and repaid over time.
The Op Co, comprising the rest of Keppel O&M, will progressively transit to a developer and integrator role, focusing on design, engineering and procurement. Fabrication work will be subcontracted to contractors, including other yards. Keppel O&M’s yard operations will be streamlined, including repurposing or divesting part of its global network of yards. At the same time, the Op Co will invest in capability building as it seizes new opportunities.
The Op Co will exit the offshore rig building business, and progressively exit low value-adding repairs and other activities with low bottom line contribution. It will seek opportunities in floating infrastructure and infrastructure-like projects that can deliver predictable streams of cashflow, including renewables projects such as offshore windfarms and solar farms, gas solutions, production assets and new energy solutions such as hydrogen and tidal energy. It will collaborate with other Keppel business units and harness the synergies of the group to provide diverse solutions for sustainable urbanisation, such as offshore and nearshore infrastructure and floating data centre parks, and also explore how Keppel O&M’s offshore rig technology can be repurposed for other uses.
Restructuring will commence with immediate effect and is expected to be executed over the next two to three years. Reflecting its new focus, Keppel O&M will carry out a rebranding exercise and refine its vision and purpose.