SeaQuest Marine Project Management, a shipbuilding project management and supervision services provider, is making efforts to diversify its business to ride through the challenges from the prolonged the crisis in the global shipbuilding industry.
Stationed in South Korea, Jan Andersson, co-founder and CEO of SeaQuest, closely oversees all the construction projects onsite under SeaQuest’s supervision in Asia.
The company has diversified into new areas of businesses with gas to the forefront.
“SeaQuest has undertaken many major VLGC projects, over 25% of the South Korean market, and we are taking steps to enter the LNG market. Diversification and venturing into new fields has helped us greatly, not only to survive but to also thrive in the current difficult market situation,” says Andersson.
Andersson discusses with Maritime CEO how yards in Asia are currently working at levels far below capacity norms.
“New shipbuilding orders are trickling down, and the major shipyards are working at 50 to 70% of their rated capacity,” Andersson says, adding that offshore projects are few, and most of these few that remain are moving towards the Singaporean market, while Chinese shipyards are not only garnering more of the standard shipbuilding orders for tankers, bulk carriers and container ships, but also specialised vessels like passenger ferries and LNG carriers.
Speaking about the major challenges for shipbuilding project supervisors, Andersson believes plan approval and construction supervision has become more difficult for a number of reasons including the current cost-cutting drive by the shipyards; retrenchment of experienced manpower within yards; banks having a greater influence in the day-to-day affairs of the shipyards by offering financial bailouts; and delays in schedules as overtime work is restricted.
“Shipyard quality manpower has diverted to production work and owners are cost cutting everywhere and this has led to reduced manpower onsite,” Andersson says.
“The best way to overcome these challenges is to maintain the core experienced professionals within the firm as well as ensuring that suitable supervision manpower is maintained. It is also vital to be proactive and share our experiences/knowledge within the organisation for different projects at different shipyards, as well as develop a professional human resources planning system to keep costs down,” Andersson maintains.
In the medium term, Andersson says SeaQuest’s goal is to improve the company’s market visibility and to continue diversifying into the ropax sector, naval auxiliary vessels and LNG carriers.
Additionally, the company is also making efforts to develop its StandShip 95 neo-panamax bulk carrier design, a concept created from the perspective of charterers, traders and operators.
“We are confident it will result in the most flexible ship in its segment, highly competitive on numerous trades with very economical performance thanks to the state-of the art design and equipment,” Andersson concludes.