Boskalis says it has completed a good first half year. The utilisation of the fleet was high and all divisions posted a higher revenue combined with a sharp result increase.

Compared to the same period last year, revenue increased by 22 per cent to EUR 1.97 billion (H1 2022: EUR 1.61 billion). EBITDA increased by 27 per cent to EUR 370 million (H1 2022: EUR 292 million). Adjusted for a EUR 50 million book gain in H1 2022, EBITDA increased 53 per cent. Net profit saw the largest increase in percentage: by 56 per cent to EUR 181 million (H1 2022: EUR 116 million, including EUR 37 million in exceptional gains and losses).

‘We look back on a very strong first half year with good performance across the company, both operationally and financially,’ says Peter Berdowski, CEO Boskalis. ‘In the Dredging division, our large vessels were busy in the Middle and Far East, resulting in high fleet utilisation. In the Philippines, good progress was made with the construction of the platform for the new Manila International Airport. Closer to home, work on the Fehmarnbelt tunnel between Germany and Denmark is progressing and we started a large-scale beach replenishment programme along the west coast of the island of Ameland.’

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Of course Berdowski has to also go into recent salvage projects: ‘Very recently we were all over the headlines in the news with a number of complex salvage operations. Off the northern coast of Ameland the large car carrier Fremantle Highway caught ablaze leading to a potential significant environmental and shipping disaster. Following a tense week, we succeeded in towing the ship into a safe harbour together with our partner.’

He adds: ‘In recent months, we were busy in the Red Sea in an attempt to avert an environmental disaster of even greater proportions. The FSO Safer has been anchored off the coast of Yemen for forty years and this decaying storage tanker holding over 1.1 million barrels of oil had become a ticking time bomb. Last week, we succeeded in transferring all the oil from the Safer into a modern tanker. A huge compliment to our salvage teams who were able to complete these jobs under challenging conditions.’

The other large salvage project took place in Southeast Asia, where work commenced on a two-year project to recover a large jack-up platform from the seabed.

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In the Dredging & Inland Infra division, revenue increased fractionally on a 26 per cent higher EBITDA compared to the same period last year. Both the trailing suction hopper dredgers and cutter suction dredgers were exceptionally well utilised on large projects in Asia and the Middle East.

Noteworthy projects in progress include the activities in Manila (Philippines), Tuas Terminal 2 and the Pulau Tekong Polder (both in Singapore), various projects in the Middle East, the Fehmarnbelt tunnel (between Denmark and Germany), the access channel to the Port of Harwich (United Kingdom), the strengthening of part of the Togo and Benin coastline, the deepening of the Suriname River (Suriname) and a large number of projects in the Netherlands.

Offshore Energy

At Offshore Energy, revenue increased by fifty per cent with an EBITDA increase of almost seventy per cent. All business units saw increases in both revenue and earnings. A busy first half of the year was also reflected in a high utilisation of the large vessels. At Marine Transport & Services, this included the BOKA Vanguard that was part of a decomissioning project in which it transported a fifty-year old, 330-metre-long FPSO to a green scrapyard.

At Heavy Lifting, the installation of the foundations of the Changfang & Xidao offshore wind project in Taiwan was completed by the crane vessel Bokalift 1 and in the United States the new crane vessel Bokalift 2 successfully installed all the planned monopiles. Fleet utilisation at Marine Survey was high in both the North Sea and the Middle East and at Subsea Services the good first half year consisted of a combination of traditional IRM work and decommissioning activities.

Finally, at Seabed Intervention the fleet was expanded with the commissioning of the Seapiper and in Taiwan offshore wind activities were ongoing.

The significance of the Towage portfolio as part of the Boskalis result has become very limited. Early 2023, an agreement was reached on the proposed sale of the terminal services activities of Smit Lamnalco. This transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter.

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Confident about the future

Berdowski concludes: ‘Looking at the past six months, we can conclude that the strategic course we set several years ago to serve both the traditional offshore market and the offshore wind market is clearly bearing fruit. Over the past six months we succeeded in preserving the high level of our order book. With a portfolio of EUR 6 billion (EUR 6.1 billion at the end of 2022, Ed.), we look to the future with great confidence and expect to amply exceed the 2022 result.’

Picture: Bokalift 2 during monopile installation (by Boskalis).