Singapore’s Keppel Offshore & Marine has temporarily reduced its workforce by more than 95% at its local yards due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In an online media conference, Loh Chin Hua, CEO of Keppel Corporation, said the group’s Singapore yards currently only have around 1,000 workers compared to levels of around 22,000 to 23,000 workers at the end of March.
According to a spokesperson of Keppel, the temoporary workforce reduction is due to Singapore’s circuit breaker and a tightening of what is considered essential services, as well as stricter social distancing measures. The workers have not been cut and are still employed during the period.
The group’s Chinese yard in Nantong has resumed full operations, while its two yards in the Philippines are under government lockdown.
“We have had to serve force majeure notices on some of the projects, but I think our customers are all very understanding because at the end of the day, safety of our workers comes first. There is also a chance that we will be able to do some catch-up work after full operations are restored,” said Loh.
Keppel Offshore & Marine has an orderbook value of $2.8bn as at the end of March, with renewables and gas-related solutions taking up 70% of the value.
“While progress in securing new orders has slowed due to COVID-19 and the fall in oil prices, Keppel O&M continues to have a sizeable orderbook which will keep our yards occupied for the next two years,” Loh said.
Keppel’s yards in Singapore were partially responsible for the re-spike in coronavirus cases seen in the city-state earlier this month with a big outbreak detected among its workforce.