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FROM THE MAGAZINE: Concerns over capacity to meet heavy lift demand

Prospects of an increase in oil and gas offshore project work over the next few years are triggering concerns in some quarters that there may not be sufficient heavy lift shipping and installation capacity to meet all the resulting future demand.

SAL Heavy Lift's Lone discharges a 95 m splitter in Vietnam for the Nghi Son project.

One reason for that potential issue, explained Sune Thorleifsson, head of marine projects for SAL Heavy Lift, is the continuing strong requirement from the worldwide offshore wind industry for the same sort of capacity.

“Four years ago, our revenue was primarily oil and gas related. Right now, though, 50 percent of it comes from the renewables sector, specifically offshore wind, and that business looks set to be there for at least the next ten years,” he said.

“So, while there are prospects for more offshore oil and gas logistics business in 2020 and beyond, we also see the renewables market, specifically offshore wind turbines with their big foundations, continuing to take a big share of the capacity offered by leading heavy lifters.”

In light of that anticipated trend, continued Thorleifsson, there could be a shortage of the right sort of heavy lift capacity for new offshore oil and gas projects if that industry picks up in a big way over the next two or three years.

“We are already seeing signs that could happen and for some projects planned for 2022 and 2023, we are now negotiating reservation fees so clients have guaranteed use of the assets they require for the period they want,” he stated.

Meanwhile, added Thorleifsson, SAL is looking to further strengthen its own position in the offshore oil and gas project sector by investing in a fly jib for its heavy lift ship Lone (a 12,975 dwt vessel with a 128.5 m x 27.5 m deck and two cranes capable of jointly lifting up to 2,000 tonnes) to extend the boom in order to increase lifting height and outreach.

This article is taken from HLPFI's January/February 2019 edition

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