Van Oord to Lay Off 500 Employees

File image courtesy Van Oord

Published Jun 17, 2020 1:23 PM by The Maritime Executive

Dredging and offshore services contractor Van Oord has announced plans to lay off about 500 employees worldwide in response to the recent economic downturn. 

According to Van Oord, market conditions in the dredging industry are under pressure, ands the recemt volatility in energy prices has led to a decrease in demand for offshore oil services. This has resulted in less revenue and deteriorating income. 

Out of the 500 individuals who will be laid off worldwide, about 120 are in the Netherlands. Van Oord has begun consultation with the affected union and with its works council. 

"These are difficult measures for our company and employees. But we adapt to remain a healthy, innovative company that capitalizes on the longer term potential of its markets," Van Oord said in a statement. 

Van Oord's revenue declined by about 12 percent in 2019, before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, led in part by a drop in offshore wind activity. However, the firm says that wind is an important part of its future and holds strong potential going forward.

In addition to securing a large contract for Taiwan's 900 megawatt Greater Changhua wind farm project, Van Oord is investing its own funds in Saare Wind Energy's 600 megawatt wind farm off the coast of Estonia. The company has also signed an MOU with NYK for joint ownership of new Japanese-flagged offshore wind installation vessels. The first in this series is due for delivery in 2022 and will help fill a gap in installation capacity for Japan's first full-scale offshore wind farms.