Boskalis taking 24 vessels out of service

Dutch marine contractor Boskalis announced Monday that it is moving ahead with its plan to take two dozen vessels out of service and layoff hundreds of workers after its work council approved the plan.

The plan, which will take place over the next two years, will see 24 vessels taken out of service resulting in the loss of 650 jobs worldwide. The plan is expected to kick off this year and continue through 2018.

Boskalis first announced the fleet rationalization plan in early July following what Boskalis said was a comprehensive internal study in light of deteriorating market conditions and an expected prolonged period low energy and commodity prices.

Part of the approved plan requires that Boskalis continue to crew two of the five Fairmount vessels for the time being with Dutch employees. The Works Council and Boskalis also agreed on a social plan for laid off workers. Boskalis says that affected employees will be absorbed through attrition and redeployment wherever possible, and it is inviting trade unions to resume in these discussions.

Details provided by Boskalis in July said that the vessels to be taken out of service will include ten in the company’s 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.

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