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    Boskalis completes fleet rationalization study - 650 jobs to go worldwide

    Company News // July 11, 2016

    Royal Boskalis Westminster has completed a fleet rationalization study that it first announced earlier this year. The study was initiated in light of deteriorating market conditions and an expected prolonged period of low energy and commodity prices. Based on the results of the study it has been decided to take 24 vessels out of service in the coming two years. This will result in the loss of approximately 650 jobs worldwide during this period.
     
    Peter Berdowski, CEO of Boskalis, said: "After a few very busy years the market outlook for Boskalis has changed drastically as a result of continuing low energy and commodity prices. 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."

    With the completion of the study the decision has been made to take 24 vessels out of service in the 2016-2018 period, of which 10 are in the company's dredging division and 14 in the offshore energy division. These will include trailing suction hopper dredgers, cutter suction dredgers, anchor handling tugs and heavy transport vessels.

    The fleet rationalization will be implemented through the scrapping, sale and lay-up of vessels. The average age of the vessels earmarked for scrapping or sale is in excess of 30 years. Vessels offered for scrapping will be dismantled at certified shipyards in accordance with the Hong Kong Convention and Boskalis' own standards.

    As highlighted above the rationalization will also have implications for the workforce at the company, with a total of around 650 employees to be made redundant. In terms of composition it concerns a cross-section of nationalities, with around 150 Dutch staff on Dutch payroll being affected. Where possible the workforce reduction will be absorbed through attrition and redeployment. Despite this, compulsory redundancies cannot be ruled out. Boskalis has requested the formal opinion of the Dutch Works Council and will invite the trade unions to consult on a social plan in the short term.

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