Royal Boskalis Westminster says it will make 650 employees redundant around the world and will take 24 vessels out of service over the next two years.
The Netherlands-based dredging and offshore services company said it made the decision based on its recently completed fleet rationalisation study, which assessed how the company could continue during the prolonged downturn in energy and commodity markets.
Boskalis said the downturn has changed the market outlook for the company “drastically”.
“The volume of work in the market has fallen sharply and this is putting pressure on the utilisation 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,” said Peter Berdowski, Boskalis’ CEO.
Around 150 Dutch staff will be affected by the job cuts. Boskalis said it hopes to reduce its workforce through attrition and redeployment, but couldn’t rule out the possibility of compulsory redundancies.
Ten vessels including trailing suction hopper dredgers and cutter suction dredgers will be lost from Boskalis’ dredging division, and 14 vessels including anchor handling tugs and heavy transport vessels will exit service in the offshore energy division.
The vessels will either be laid up or sold for demolition if aged around 30 years or over. The ships will be scrapped at yards certified in accordance with the Hong Kong Convention and with Boskalis’ own standards, the company said.
Berdowski said cutting the number of its employees and vessels was necessary to ensure the company “remains healthy going forward”.