16 February 2016, Sweetcrude, Oslo — Harding extended its string of offshore successes with contracts for deliveries of lifeboats and davits to the Culzean offshore gas complex, to be constructed for owner Maersk Oil UK by Sembcorp Marine subsidiary SMOE PteLtd of Singapore.
The Culzean win gives Harding a sweep of the latest big offshore contracts, including deliveries of lifeboats and davits to the Heerema heavy lift semisubmersible crane Sleipnir and to the giant Johan Sverdrup field center.
“We have worked hard to strengthen our position in today’s difficult offshore market,” says Harding’s global director of sales Bjørn Sturle Hillestad. “Winning the Culzean project was a key strategic goal in this process.”
Culzean is one of the largest gas discoveries of recent years in the UK North Sea, and the field center will comprise a 12-slot wellhead platform, WHP, linked by bridges to a central processing facility, CPF, supported by a floating storage and offloading vessel, FSO, and an installation for utilities and living quarters, ULQ.
Harding will deliver three FF1200 lifeboats to the ULQ and one FF1200 to the WHP, both with LA1200SU davits. The davits are scheduled for delivery by March 2017, with the lifeboats to follow in December of the same year. The WHP/FSO contract is still in bid phase.
The FF1200 is a 70-person freefall lifeboat designed to meet the most stringent standards in the industry, and with just more than 100 delivered, it is among the most popular in the industry. The LA1200SU is a skid-launch davit specially designed for the FF1200.
“Competition isn’t getting any easier, so we are very happy and proud to have won these latest contracts,” reports Harding Regional Sales Director Odd Åge Helvik.
Harding attributes its success to a combination of high quality, a strong local presence, and central expertise.
“We have our eyes and ears in Singapore, and that allows us to respond quickly to openings, and establish good contacts with the owner and the yard,” Helvik says. “Then we mobilize the technical team to tailor deliveries to the customer’s requirements.”
Communication is king
Bjørn Sturle Hillestad, Harding’s Global Sales and Marketing Director, emphasises that good communications are key in winning good contracts. “Our first job is to earn customer confidence, to build their trust in Harding quality, and we have plenty of good references to help us there,” he relates. “Then we listen. We learn about their concerns and preferences, and help them to understand that we are committed to delivering exactly what they need, not just a standard product line.”
Hillestad also want to emphasise the value of a true team effort: “No one person is responsible for our success. We are a global team, and we believe the customers see the advantage of this.”
In a tough market, though, continued success is never guaranteed. “We are bucking the current right now,” Odd Åge Helvik acknowledges. “We realise the only way to maintain success is to keep delivering quality, and keep giving the customer what they really want.”