Boskalis to Take 24 Vessels Out of Service, Cut 650 Jobs

Boskalis' trailing suction hopper dredger Freeway. Photo: Boskalis
Boskalis’ trailing suction hopper dredger Freeway. Photo: Boskalis

Dutch marine services provider Royal Boskalis Westminster has announced plans to cut approximately 650 jobs worldwide over the next two years as it takes 24 vessels out service.

The job cuts come following an internal fleet rationalization study undertaken in light of deteriorating market conditions and an expected prolonged period low energy and commodity prices.

The 24 vessels will be taken out of service beginning this year and through 2018, including ten in Boskalis’ dredging division and fourteen in its offshore energy division. These will include the trailing suction hopper dredgers, cutter suction dredgers, anchor handling tugs and heavy transport vessels, the company said.

Boskalis added that the plan will be implemented through the scrapping, sale and lay-up of vessels.

The fleet rationalization will also have implications for the company’s workforce, with a total of around 650 employees to be made redundant, including about 150 of its Dutch staff.

“After a few very busy years the market outlook for Boskalis has changed drastically as a result of continuing low energy and commodity prices,” Peter Berdowski, CEO Boskalis. “The volume of work in the market has fallen sharply and this is putting pressure on the utilization 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. We are fully aware that this intended decision is drastic and that it will have a major social impact. While we will try to absorb the work force reduction through attrition and redeployment wherever possible, compulsory redundancies unfortunately look to be unavoidable. A reduction of the number of vessels and jobs is however necessary to ensure that Boskalis remains healthy going forward.”