AsiaMaritime CEOOffshore

Marco Polo Marine: First mover advantage in Indonesia

Singapore: Setting his sights high, Marco Polo Marine’s ceo has outlined plans to become a “significant” group in offshore oil and gas marine logistics and support in the region.

What’s more, Sean Lee says he has “plans and the wherewithal” to be one of the larger offshore support vessel (OSV) owner-operators in Indonesia, specifically in the mid-sized anchor handling tug supply vessel (AHTS) segment where he says his company has the “early-mover advantage”.

The executive chairman and founder, Sean’s father, Lee Wan Tang, would also appear to be putting his wallet where his mouth is. On Monday Lee Sr upped his stake in the Singapore-listed offshore vessel owner to just under 60% by buying another 1m shares.

Marco Polo Marine has 11 sets of tugs and barges and 4 OSVs while its Indonesian subsidiary, PT Pelayaran Nasional Bina Buana Raya Tbk (PT BBR) has 35 tugs, 32 barges, one self-propelled barge and three OSVs. PT BBR listed on January 9 this year.

With regard to ship chartering, the ceo says Marco Polo Marine will still be active in Asian and Australasian waters including Thailand and Australia – “our bread and butter” – as well as exploring new projects in Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar.

Turning to neighbouring Indonesia, this is where Lee gets excited, telling Maritime CEO: “PT BBR will focus on the vast Indonesian market where the offshore oil and gas sector is growing rapidly and only at its nascent stage of development in my view.”

He goes on to explain: “We are at the beginning of a period where there is strong demand for Indonesian-flagged vessels due to increasing offshore exploration and productions projects at a time of strict enforcement of Indonesian cabotage regulations resulting in a tight supply of vessels. The focus must rightly now be on how to optimally increase our fleet size and shorten the time-to-market.”

On successfully listing last month PT BBR immediately announced plans to spend up to $46m to order more AHTSs for delivery in 2014.

As well as owning and chartering ships, the group has a shipyard in Batam, Indonesia.

In addition to building ships, the yard’s three drydocks are engaged in repair, maintenance, upgrading and outfitting works.

“We are focused on mid-sized vessels where we think there is a niche market to be cultivated,” Lee reckons.

For its last financial year, which ended on September 30, Marco Polo Marine notched up an all-time high net profit of S$21.3m against revenues of S$89.8m.  [22/02/13]

NEED TO KNOW:  Marco Polo Marine
Listed in Singapore in 2007, the company is an offshore operator with a yard in Batam. Indonesian subsidiary PT Pelayaran Nasional Bina Buana Raya Tbk (PT BBR) gives the group valuable access to the fast growing Indonesian offshore market, a sector where strict cabotage laws are enforced. Marco Polo Marine celebrated record profits in its last financial year.

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