A powerful future for old PSV

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche

19 August 2016


Yesterday’s announcement by Maersk Supply Service that it was reducing its fleet by up to 20 vessels over the coming 18 months and had chosen a UK home for its project vessel fleet has been widely reported but ShipInsight finds it interesting for several reasons. Firstly the statement by Jørn Madsen, CEO of Maersk Supply Service that, “One of Maersk Supply Service’s prime objectives is to attempt to restore the supply demand balance in the offshore supply market. This is why the vast majority of the divested vessels will be recycled or modified by their new owners to compete outside their present segments.” Earlier this year, Netherlands-based Damen had said that it believed one way of improving the prospects of PSVs in the current climate was to find alternative uses for them. However, while it transpired that Damen would be interested in conversions, it confirmed at the time that it was not aware of any particular projects underway. While it appears that Damen is not connected with the Maersk statement, it is clear that others have had similar ideas. One of the 20 vessels that have left the Maersk fleet is the 1994-built PSV Maersk Finder that was sold in June to a new owner as part of the divestment plan. Maersk Supply Service confirmed the ship will be modified to compete outside of the OSV segment but when asked was not at liberty to reveal further details. ShipInsight enquiries suggest that the ship is now at Yavlova in Turkey under the name of KPS Koray Bey and is now owned by Karadeniz Energy. It would appear that the vessel’s future is to be as the first of the Turkish company’s Seal class powerships. The concept of the Powership pioneered and developed by Karadeniz involves fitting out the vessels as mobile power plants that can be used in areas where shore-based power production and grid energy systems are limited. The company has several projects in hand and is providing power in projects in Iraq, Lebanon, Ghana, Indonesia and Zambia. The one time Maersk Finder will be the smallest of the ships operated by Karadeniz and will be capable of generating around 35MW of power from dual-fuel gensets installed. Other ships in the fleet also enjoyed previous lives as bulk carriers and tankers before undergoing conversion. The second aspect of the Maersk Supply Service that was interesting was that the company is to flag its four ‘Stingray’ new-buildings to the Isle of Man registry and will be establishing a commercial hub in the UK consolidating ownership and operation of the company’s project vessels. This includes the ‘Stingray’ vessels and five existing project vessels that will also be flagged to the Isle of Man registry. This move would indicate that the Danish company looking on the bright side of Brexit as well as ensuring that the vessels will be employable in the North Sea in the future if EU vessels are no longer allowed access once the UK fully disengages from the EU. It will also mean that the ships may not be subject to future EU regulations and directives, something that the company’s parent is presently active in combatting as was made clear by its choice of approved breakers in Alang for end of life vessels.