Acta Jifmar wants to pay extra attention to the new organisation, after the merger of Acta Marine Workboats with France’s Jifmar Offshore Services. SWZ|Maritime spoke to the company’s commercial manager about the merger, but also about the company’s presence at the maritime trade fair Seawork.

Hans Heynen
Hans Heynen.

This article was written by Hans Heynen, maritime journalist, and will also appear in SWZ|Maritime’s June 2024 issue.

‘With the merger of the workboats of Acta and Jifmar, we now have a fleet of more than seventy workboats,’ says commercial manager Bert de Ruiter of Acta Jifmar. ‘The organisation is split into two divisions. A charter branch, which is purely concerned with the rental of work vessels, and a contracting unit, which looks at taking on maintenance and installation work for the offshore, dredging and construction industries.’

Offshore service provider Acta Jifmar from Den Helder, formerly known as Acta Marine, exhibits at Seawork every year. ‘We meet a large part of the sector here,’ says commercial manager Bert de Ruiter of Acta Jifmar. ‘Especially British owners of workboats have traditionally been represented here. The fact that there is a Dutch pavilion for the first time this year shows that the international importance of this fair is increasing.’

Seawork, which takes place 11-13 June, is Europe’s largest on-water commercial maritime and workboat exhibition and is also important to Acta Jifmar because of the way it promotes the interests of the sector. For example, there are meetings with the Workboat Association, the British flag state authority MCA, and the British Tugowners Association.

Also read: Jifmar acquires Acta Marine’s workboat activities

Hydrogen and HVO

Acta Jifmar highlighted various sustainable developments at Seawork. ‘For example, we have completed the hybridisation of one of our supply vessels. In daily work, the ship now sails completely electrically on hydrogen, while for longer distances, or situations in which more power is temporarily needed, the diesel engines are still available,’ explains De Ruiter. ‘A wonderful, circular development in which we have fully upgraded an existing ship with completely new technology, in close collaboration with one of our regular customers and a number of subcontractors.’

‘In addition, we present a number of smaller sustainable developments, such as a test with bamboo planks for protecting work decks and a CO2 certificate, which we can provide to our client at the end of each project with a summary of the CO2 and other emissions emitted. We also explain that our ships are fully equipped for the use of HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil), a vegetable alternative to diesel oil.’

Also read: Ulstein designs two more methanol CSOVs for Acta Marine

British cooperation

Local presence is important for obtaining orders in the UK. ‘The people here want to get to know you, have a pint,’ says De Ruiter. ‘They want to work together on the basis of trust. As the years go by, it is nice to see how people we previously worked with keep popping up in the sector, sometimes at a different company or in a different capacity, but always involved and with a focus on the work.’

Originally, Acta Jifmar provided its services in the UK mainly to large international contractors, such as Boskalis and Van Oord. ‘But we now have a strong foothold in the British market with Jifmar Scotland, which consists of the former companies of Northwest Marine and Delta Marine,’ says De Ruiter. ‘Various activities are offered to the aquaculture market from the offices in Oban and Stirling, such as cleaning and installing offshore fishponds and diving work. In addition, we regularly supply ships to British contractors, for example for laying or burying cables and soil research.’

Also read: Acta Marine establishes French subsidiary

French takeover

According to De Ruiter, the takeover of Acta Marine at the end of last year by French peer Jifmar Offshore Services in Aix-en-Provence, has not brought about any major changes. ‘A lot has remained the same. The spot market chartering of our workboats is coordinated from our office in Den Helder. Our organisation in Den Helder is also mainly concerned with the deployment and maintenance of all ships. The ships sailing under the French and British flag have now established their base for the North and Baltic Sea area in Den Helder. Our workshop and logistics centre there is ideally located to optimally maintain and forage ships between projects. We are now fully engaged in fully integrating and optimising the French, Scottish and Dutch organisations, to become a European company that works worldwide.’

The construction branch is being further expanded from the head office in Aix-en-Provence. ‘They are involved in long-term contracts for, among others, the French government, with the Canopée, the innovative sailing cargo ship that transports parts for the Ariane rockets between Europe and Central America and a variety of other activities, such as dam inspections, ROV and diving work.’

Photo: This recent photo of the multi-purpose support vessel Coastal Chariot (37.00 x 11.84 metres) illustrates the current state of the integration of Acta Marine into the Jifmar group as Acta Jifmar. The ship combines the new company colours of Acta Jifmar with the old Acta Marine logos. The Coastal Chariot is currently active in the Persian Gulf (photo Acta Jifmar).

Also read: Construction of Acta Marine’s new methanol-powered CSOV kicks off