Home' Work Boat World : June 2010 Contents © BAIRD PUBLICATIONS LTD 2010
Baird Publications Ltd, Hong Kong
Printed by: Print Dynamics (S) Pte Ltd,
135 Sturt Street
Southbank, Melbourne 3006
PH: +61 3 9645 0411
FX: +61 3 9645 0475
Chairman and Editor-in-Chief: Neil Baird
Administration Director: Rose Baird
Editor: Steven Kelleher BA Hons
Assistant Editor: Janice Chernli Teo BA
Pre-Press: Peter Hands
ADELAIDE: Jon Wallis; AUCKLAND: Peter
Morgan; BANGKOK: Kanakporn Sapraset;
Sathita U-Samran; BEIJING: Jia Yong Zhi;
BRISBANE: Bill Beecham, Dick Lee; DALIAN: Tina
Haishen; COLOMBO: S Mahendran;
FREMANTLE: Mike Brown; GUANGZHOU: Julia
Wang; HANOI: Ngo Khac Le; HOBART: Guy
Anderson; MANILA: Roger Tritton; MILAN:
Stefano Fermi; SAINT PETERSBURG: Yuri
Seleznev; SEATTLE: Mark Clevenger; SHANGHAI:
Graham Thompson; SOFIA: Krasimir Krastanov;
SIBU: Eddie Puah; SYDNEY: Terry Gorman;
TOKYO: Ikuya Ohtagaki, VANCOUVER:
Campbell Baird; VLADIVOSTOK: Vladimir
Fridyev; WUHAN: Yu Zhixiao.
Daphne Cham Ming Sheung LLB, PostGrad Dip Mgt.
135 Sturt Street, Southbank,
Melbourne 3006, Australia.
PH: +61 3 9645 0411
FX: +61 3 9645 0475
Asia / Australasia/ Middle East /
Western north America
Ajit Singh BE MBA
Europe / Africa / Eastern north America /
Shireen Chai BSc
Liu Xiaosu (Sue) LLB, MIB
Subscriptions: [By airmail only.]
For one year (12 issues); E95, US$150, £95
(*Includes 10% GST for Australian subscribers)
Global Circulation Management Pte Ltd,
With the rapid recent build up in the global fleet of offshore service vessels
some commentators have wisely warned of an impending glut.
Those warnings have a solid base in both experience and fact. Since it really started
to develop in the mid 1960s, the offshore service vessel market has experienced some
dramatic booms and busts. The early '70s, '80s, '90s and noughties all provided some
very scary experiences for those invested in the sector.
I well remember the rows of brand new 55-metre PSVs lined up in the bayous west of
New Orleans. Built on spec, they had no hope of being sold in 1983/4.
An opportunity missed was the offer of an AHTS for US$100,000 about the same
time. The eventual buyer converted it to a fishing boat and sold the winch for two and
a half times the price of the whole vessel!
Those opportunities come and go with the business cycle. As they say, "the rich man
buys the fool's mistake."
Three decades ago, of course, the alternatives to offshore oil and gas exploration and
development were pretty much limited to fishing and some fairly restricted
cargo/carrying. Nowadays, however, there are additional opportunities.
The growth of the windfarm construction and service sector has been well described
in this magazine in recent years. Similarly, some OSVs, both platform supply and
crew/supply have found roles in patrol, rescue, salvage and disaster relief activities.
There is little doubt that the opportunities in all these fields of activities will
continue to expand. Many currently configured OSVs of virtually every kind can be
readily converted to such alternative uses.
Two other sectors also promise huge potential markets for owners and operators of
most kinds of OSVs. They, are offshore mariculture and offshore mining.
Both sectors have been largely neglected until recently because it has been easier and
more economical to conduct such activities on or near the land. That situation is
rapidly changing for both sectors.
Offshore mariculture, for example, will inevitably become much more important.
The world needs protein. It needs a fair share of that protein to be in the form of
seafood for reasons of healthy diet, variety and the land environment.
However, in their wisdom (But, in my view, as a result of a conspiracy with the
global extreme green movement), most governments of developed nations have
emasculated their fishing industries. They have done much the same -- mostly for better
reasons -- to their inshore, coastal and land based aquaculture counterparts.
So, where do we obtain our seafood? If inshore, coastal and land based aquaculture is
to be substantially restricted, where will the remaining operators conduct their business?
The answer to me is quite clear -- further offshore. I well remember my friend and
colleague, Dr.Hagen Stehr, of Australia's Clean Seas Tuna group (in which our family
has some shares) predicting this about ten years ago.
Fish farms can be very polluting. If they are inshore and fixed in location, there is
little opportunity for faeces and food waste to be dispersed. The fish are living in their
own filth. This is bad for the environment, for the product and for business.
Inevitably, mariculture will have to move further offshore where the water is deeper
and cleaner. Fish farms will have to become mobile to prevent unhealthy and unsightly
accumulations of wastes. They will have to get bigger, stronger and more seaworthy.
To handle such larger farms, bigger, more powerful and more versatile vessels will be
required. Anchor handlers, supply vessels and crew/supply vessels will all be required.
As government policies force the price of seafood upwards, the mariculture sector will
become increasingly similar to the offshore oil and gas business.
Much the same seems bound to happen to the mining industry. As more and more
restrictions are placed on mining the deposits that occur on the 30 per cent of the
planet that is on land, offshore deposits will, inevitably, become more interesting.
The offshore oil and gas business is certainly still lucrative at current prices. However
there are a number of other actual or potential uses for its vessels and their associated
technology, should the oil and gas sector falter.
In Work Boat World, May 2010, we published a review of the '12m Orient Craft
Army Watercraft' designed and built by Philippines-based StoneWorks Specialist
International Corporation. In the vessel specifications, construction material
should have read FRP, not steel.
The vessels were clearly FRP constructions and we apologise for any confusion. We
also take the opportunity to congratulate StoneWorks once again on their achievement
in winning such an important contract.
-- Not just oil and gas
EDITORIAL JUNE 2010
Links Archive May 2010 July 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page