Maersk Supply Service Downsizes Focus to Offshore Wind and Support Vessels

Maersk wind farm installation
Maersk Supply Service going forward will focus on offshroe wind and support vessels (MSS file photo)

Published Aug 28, 2023 6:27 PM by The Maritime Executive

Maersk Supply Service is reorganizing its business to focus on offshore wind and support vessels, as it sees the strongest growth opportunities in these segments going forward. The company, which was sold earlier this year, will reduce the size of its workforce, restructure its management team, reduce the scope of its operations, and leave the market in Australia and the Pacific region.

According to the company, the shakeup is designed to continue to improve profitability by focusing on a narrower range of services that will increase the synergies across its operations. Maersk Supply Service owns more than 30 vessels currently and has its first wind turbine installation vessel under construction. 

“Maersk Supply Service has been on a transformational journey since 2016 to explore new business opportunities after the downturn in the OSV market. The company has added many different areas to its business, all relevant at the time. Now it is time to select the areas with the highest potential for Maersk Supply Service,” said Christian Ingerslev, CEO of Maersk Supply Service. “We will build scale in the markets we operate to become more competitive.”

The company points out that while the offshore market continues to improve, that the energy transition is driving long-term opportunities. They highlight that governments are setting higher offshore wind targets, while companies are moving to secure ports and capacity to meet their development targets.

The company looks to expand on its operations already in these segments while pointing to the new solution it is developing for wind turbine installation. Maersk ordered its first WTIV in 2022 designed to use the new feeder approach. Earlier this year, they announced the formation of a partnership with Kirby Offshore. They plan to deploy the vessel in the U.S. market using the feeder model where Kirby will supply tugs and barges that will move materials to the installation vessel, which remains on site offshore during the project.

As they proceed to focus the business over the next two years, Maersk Supply Service anticipates reducing its onshore and offshore workforce by as many as 130 people. They will begin a consultation process in the UK to determine the full scope of the downsizing. In addition, two executives, Chief Operational Officer Mark Handin and Head of Integrated Solutions, Olivier Trouvé, will leave Maersk Supply Service by the end of September 2023.

The company says it will honor its commitments and execute its project backlog but going forward it will no longer enter into turn-key solutions projects. The projects do not meet the company’s financial expectations, but they will continue to support the towing, mooring, and installation of offshore assets on a time-chartering basis. They also plan to focus the geographical footprint and position the fleet around the Atlantic Basin and the North Sea, while relocating two vessels from Australia after the completion of their current contracts.

A new management team has also been named to guide the future business. Jonas Munch Agerskov, currently Chief Commercial Officer, will take on the newly created role of Executive Vice President for Offshore Wind. Michael Reimer Mortensen will join Maersk Supply Service as the new Chief Commercial Officer and be responsible for leading the commercial efforts in the Offshore Support Vessel business. Maersk Supply Service will search for a new Chief Technical Officer to be part of the management team.

A.P. Moller-Maersk divested Maersk Supply Service in the spring of 2023 as the container and logistics company completed its exit from the energy sector. The business was acquired by A.P. Moller Holding, an investment company controlled by the founding family and parent of A.P. Moller-Maersk. The holding company said its strategy would be to drive the company’s transition accelerating the focus on the offshore wind sector and its growth opportunities.