Home' Work Boat World : December 2009 Contents © BAIRD PUBLICATIONS LTD 2009
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Wang; HANOI: Ngo Khac Le; HOBART: Guy
Anderson; MANILA: Roger Tritton; MILAN:
Stefano Fermi; SAINT PETERSBURG: Yuri
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Ajit Singh BE MBA
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Shireen Chai BSc
Liu Xiaosu (Sue) LLB, MIB
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Over the past decade the global fleet of offshore service vessels (OSVs) has grown
by well over thirty percent. It is still growing.
Orders in hand point to a further fleet expansion of some fifteen percent over the
next three years. By any measure this is dramatic growth. It has also been at remarkably
steady or consistent growth rates.
The numbers of the various classes of OSVs have also grown at remarkably similar
and consistent rates.
Now comprising more than 6,000 vessels, the global OSV fleet has an average age of
over 25 years. This, obviously means that a significant slice of the fleet will need to be
replaced fairly soon.
While the ownership of the fleet continues to slowly consolidate, its 6,000 plus
existing vessels are owned by 1,250 different companies. Given that the top 60 owners
share about 5,000 vessels, the remainder own very small fleets indeed.
The world may well be trying to wean itself off carbon based fuels but it is not doing
much of a job of it. Demand for oil and gas continues to rise inexorably. It is fairly clear
that most of the land sourced resources of oil and gas have already been discovered. It is
equally clear, therefore, that future supplies will mostly be sourced from the sea and
particularly from ever deeper water.
So, although the OSV sector is just as cyclical as most other parts of the maritime
market, it is obvious that the general trend in the OSV market for the foreseeable future
is upward. Unless someone develops a viable oil and gas substitute, the growth in
demand for petroleum seems assured.
For both vessel replacement and market growth the world will just as assuredly
require significant numbers of new OSVs.
Those OSVs will generally have to be more versatile, more powerful and, necessarily,
larger and increasingly complex. They will inevitably be operating in deeper water and
further from home.
This means, unless someone makes some big design breakthroughs, that future OSVs
will be significantly more expensive than those they replace. The world's naval
architects, OSV builders and their suppliers should be happy about that.
Meanwhile, it is probable that the world's OSVs will be worked harder and used for a
wider range of jobs than ever before. They will always need to be designed, built and
equipped to reduce down time and maintenance as far as possible. The quality of
finishes and equipment will need to continue to be improved.
At the same time, safety requirements, SOLAS and local, will continue to become
more onerous and expensive. The same theme will apply to environmental concerns. Of
necessity, emissions, fouling, wash and noise will all become important factors in the
design, construction, finishing and equipping of OSVs.
Life, particularly for ship owners, is set to become ever more complicated and
expensive. OSVs, in that sense, are no different from most other types of vessels.
The world is going to need many more of them. They will be built and they will be
built and equipped well and properly. The whole OSV industry and its suppliers seem
set to benefit substantially from that.
In the November, 2009 issue of Work Boat World, we published a review of
'SMS Voyager', built by Malaysia's Forward Marine Enterprise. The email contact
address should have read, email@example.com. We apologise for the error
and encourage readers to contact the productive and progressive Forward Marine
OSV building boom continues
EDITORIAL DECEMBER 2009
SABOO is open for business!
Many avid viewers of our www.bairdmaritime.com website and former
subscribers to our Ships and Boats on Order database (SABOO) have been
asking when SABOO will appear on our website as promised. Well, as of
November 9, 2009 SABOO officially opened for business. We suggest you
look at it under "Directories".
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