Bourbon to offload 41 older vessels as part of digital transformation

French offshore giant Bourbon is accelerating its transformation plans, announcing a new strategic action plan called #BOURBONINMOTION, which it says will help it meet customer demands and improve competitiveness.

The plan’s priorities will see the company reorganise activities into three divisions: Bourbon Marine & Logistics, Bourbon Subsea Services and Bourbon Mobility. Each division will have its own management team to implement individual strategies.

Additionally, the company plans to capitalise on the digital revolution to differentiate from competitors by pushing forward with a smart shipping programme to connect 132 modern supply vessels within the Bourbon Marine & Logistics division. The investment will cost around €75m ($92.4m) over three years.

The Bourbon Marine & Logistics division has an additional 65 traditional vessels in its fleet, and 41 of these vessels are too old for the programme and will be sold off at current market prices.

The disposals are expected to lead to a €170m ($209.3m) impairment loss,  seeing the company post a consolidated net loss of around €600m ($738.9m) for 2017.

Bourbon says the fleet upgrade will improve operational excellence and enable a sustainable reduction in vessel operating costs.

Jacques de Chateauvieux, executive chairman of Bourbon, commented: “We are ready to meet the challenges of the transformation profoundly impacting the oil & gas industry and already driving major changes at our key customers. The #BOURBONINMOTIONaction plan unveils the new face of Bourbon, which is, as in the past, not afraid to reinvent itself and innovate with the commitment of the women and men who contribute to its development around the world. Indeed, beyond the technological revolution lies a personal revolution for all Bourbon team members.”

The #BOURBONINMOTION plan was approved by the Bourbon board yesterday, and follows the signing of a partnership with Bureau Veritas last month to develop and deploy automation and real time monitoring fleet applications.

Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.
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