Maersk Supply Service – In Safe Hands

Maersk Supply Service has recently won its largest ever project, moving from providing marine services to more complex projects.

Maersk Supply Service is a leading provider of global offshore marine services and integrated solutions for the energy sector worldwide. With a fleet of 40 vessels, Maersk Supply Service brings more than 50 year’s hands-on marine experience in performing complex operations at sea. The company is a subsidiary of A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S, and employs around 1100 offshore and 220 onshore staff.

Since 2017, Maersk Supply Service has expanded its offerings to become a solutions provider, specialised in towing, mooring and installation of large floating structures, which is an integral part of the maritime expertise needed for both offshore wind, and oil and gas markets.

“The company has always been recognised and valued for its fleet and its operation in the subsea construction and field development for the oil and gas sector,” says Rafael Thome, Managing Director for Maersk Supply Service in Latin America. “But we are now moving from being a vessel provider to securing integrating engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) work, bringing higher added value to customers.”

Based in Brazil, he affirms that Latin America is one of the regions to be watched in post-Covid market development. It is here that the company has recently achieved an important milestone.

The largest project

In June, Maersk Supply Service secured a major project contract for the Libra Consortium in Brazil concerning the pre-lay of the mooring system for a newbuild FPSO in Brazil. The EPCI project will be implemented over 2021 and 2022.

“This is one of the biggest projects of its kind to be awarded this year, and we are very proud to have won it. With this contract, we will be ramping up our activities in Brazil significantly and will be further developing our office in Rio de Janeiro. We look forward to enhancing our solutions capabilities in the Brazilian market,” says Rafael Thome.

He explains that the company is using the capability of its centre of excellence in Aberdeen, where its expertise comes from, and its competence is now being mirrored in Brazil.

The company has hired over 20 new people for this project and is set to develop a second centre of excellence for solution projects. This will be a regional centre, intended to provide expertise not only to Latin America but also to other regions such as Africa, where subsea projects have a similar profile.

“While the core business will remain, we are moving towards being a full provider. What we are offering now is really bringing extra added value to clients, and we are looking at projects that are either too specific and too large for simple vessel providers,” says Rafael Thome.

Building a track record

This approach has been working very well, he explains, and new opportunities are emerging as the jobs are getting larger and more complex. The Mero 2 project has not been the only achievement in 2021. Just recently, Maersk Supply Services has proudly announced another success:

In September, the company was awarded a contract by the Cameroon Oil Transportation Company (COTCO), for Phase 2 of a mooring system maintenance project on the Kome-Kribi 1 Floating Storage & Offloading unit off the coast of Cameroon, west Africa. This adds to Maersk Supply Service’s solutions track-record in mooring management, following the Mero 2 contract in June 2021.

The project involves replacing two link arms on a yoke mooring system on the Kome-Kribi 1 Marine Terminal and follows Phase 1, during which Maersk Supply Service carried out the design, engineering, procurement and installation of a temporary redundancy system.

The contract comprises of full project management and engineering and the two-month offshore operations, which are scheduled to commence in Q4 2022.

“The integrated solutions we provide aim to simplify offshore operations and to reduce cost and risk for our customers. Our teams are really the core of our success. By combining the flexibility of a versatile fleet with our technical and project management expertise, Maersk Supply Service is able to deliver solutions that meet complex project needs,” says Mr Thome.

Green way forward

Speaking about general market development in 2021, he reflects that the market already seems to be picking up in the wake of the pandemic, specifically in the big investment locations such as South America and Africa.

If the trend were to continue, the company would be more than willing to invest in expanding the fleet.

The investment will reflect the company’s green policy, affirms Mr Thome, saying that Maersk Supply Service is committed to decarbonising its fleet and is focused on energy efficiency and ocean health.

With the ambitious target of reducing its carbon intensity by 50% across its fleet in 2030, the company has now taken the next step in its decarbonisation journey and ordered a battery pack for one of its M-class vessels, with plans to install the battery in early 2022. The company has also expanded into renewable industries such as floating wind, and ocean cleaning.

“There are currently two growing renewables segments that Maersk Supply Services is working on,” says Mr Thome. “The installation of offshore floating wind turbines, requiring its own kind of solution; and testing offshore charging buoys to reduce vessel emissions, potentially displacing a significant amount of marine fuel with green electricity. Both has the potential to become large business areas for Maersk Supply Service.”

He points out that with most companies focused on reducing costs and handling the consequences of the crisis in oil and gas as well as of the pandemic, the current challenge is to have a clear understanding of the way forward.

“There are a lot of opportunities emerging and we really need to stay focused.  Our two pillars of success are our vessels and our expertise, and these assets will carry us into the future.”

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