Solstad Scraps Seven Vessels as Fleet Reduction Continues
Solstad Offshore sold a further seven vessels from its fleet for recycling as the Norwegian offshore vessel operator continues efforts to downsize its fleet focusing on newer vessels and converting ships to eco-friendly operations. The company has previously said that it plans to reduce its fleet by up to a third as it continues to reorganize its operations in response to the prolonged downturn in the oil and gas sector.
The vessels to be recycled are defined by Solstad as non-strategic. All of those sold today are older, ranging mostly between 21 and 24 years although one ocean tug was only 13 years old. All are considered by management to be “irrelevant for present and future markets.”
The vessels, which include Sea Tiger, Normand Atlantic, Normand Borg, Normand Neptun, Sea Pollock, Far Strider, and Far Sovereign, had all already been placed in lay-up. They will be recycled at the Green Yard Feda and Green Yard Kleven shipyards in Norway.
“We are pleased that we finally can start green recycling of a major number of our oldest vessels,” said Tor Inge Dale, Chief Sustainability Officer of Solstad. “These have all have been in lay-up over a considerable time. This will allow us to increase focus on upgrades and emission reductions from our core fleet of modern offshore vessels going forward.”
Solstad reports it currently has a fleet of 104 vessels including PSVs, subsea, AHTS, and ones operating for renewable energy. The company declares a strategy of selling non-strategic parts of its fleet while targeting a fleet of around 90 vessels. As of the end of the second quarter, Solstad had sold 12 vessels, including four during the second quarter. Only one of the vessels had been sold for scrap while the others were delivered to new operators. Solstad also reported that it had a further 13 vessels, including the seven sold today, in layup with a total of 27 vessels designated to be sold.
The company’s core fleet stands at approximately 90 operating both in the oil and gas sector and emerging offshore wind farms. During the second quarter, 80 of the vessels on average were in operation giving the company approximately 80 percent utilization.