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A Decade Full of Work to Come for Marine Contractors

Luis Navarro - Heerema Marine Contractors
Mexico Country Manager


Conal Quinn By Conal Quinn | Journalist & Industry Analyst - Tue, 08/16/2022 - 16:39

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Q: How has Heerema experienced demand in recent years and how has the current landscape changed how it conducts its business?

A:  The COVID-19 pandemic was very challenging because the company normally has around 200 people aboard its vessels and the crew changes perhaps every two weeks. During the pandemic, traveling was restricted. Where we used to have a crew onboard for two or three months, during the pandemic many had to spend nine months aboard in areas like Asia, which had a strong impact on the company and its employees.

Furthermore, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has changed the economic factor of the industry, for through example soaring inflation. Therefore, the way Heerema does business needed to be adapted. We are more careful about how we close our contracts in order to mitigate risk.

Q: What is a differentiator for the company?

A: Heerema’s preparation for projects is exceptional. Furthermore, we make sure that we arrive on time and execute our work as promised. The company also sets itself apart through the suppliers and partners it works with. Heerema selects those that already match its own standards, ensuring they will meet the needs of our clients too.

Heerema’s flexibility allows it to work from shallow to ultra-deep waters. The company is also working to reduce its emissions and has a five-year partnership with Eneco, the Rotterdam Port Authority and Heerema with the support of the Rotterdam Municipal Government. The connection enables the Sleipnir and Thialf vessels to switch off their engines and instead be powered by sustainable energy that originates from wind turbines located on the headland nearby, or from another renewable source should it be required. The Shore Power connection has a 20MW capacity, which is the energy equivalent of power for around 15,000 homes. As the vessels turn off their engines when connected to Shore Power, virtually all emissions are prevented because no further marine gas oil, or LNG in Sleipnir’s case, will be used. This action has direct benefits for local residents with air quality improvements and a reduction in CO2. Also, without the engines running, there is a significant reduction in noise nuisance. In addition, we are also looking into other alternative cleaner, greener fuels.

Q: How has the way Mexico is perceived by Heerema from a global point of view evolved over the past decade and what have been the highlights in that evolution?

A: We have four assets working worldwide and Mexico has always provided a considerable amount of work. Throughout the past decade, Mexico has been good for the company and in the coming years, the company expects much more work.

Nonetheless, one of the challenges regarding how Mexico is perceived is the lack of certainty that the company can rely on to do its work. Certainty needs to be created in order to finalize a contract. The company needs to be assured that all the right conditions are set up to perform the work safely.

Still, Heerema is convinced the next years will be more promising. This optimism stems from the Energy Reform and the fact that many IOCs have already invested heavily in Mexico and need to continue to develop their fields in the coming years. The government wants to increase oil and refined fuel production. To make this happen, they need more operational oil platforms and to put the refineries to work.

Q: What have been the most important projects that you have worked on recently in Mexico?

A: Heerema worked on projects by Fieldwood and Eni in 2021. It also provided support to PEMEX. Heerema has worked very closely with the Mexican yards, where both private and public corporations build their platforms. The main difference between working with the private and public sectors is in the regulations: PEMEX has its own normative standards, whereas the regulations such as the one from Energy and Environmental Security Agency (ASEA) deviates from private companies, which also use their own internal regulation as a standard. Heerema is experienced in dealing with both sides. In that sense, the company can bring both its Mexican and its worldwide experience to the market and add value through its knowledge in either area.



Heerema Marine Contractors is headquartered in the Netherlands. It is a leading marine contractor in the international offshore oil and gas and renewables industry. It excels at transporting, installing and removing offshore facilities.

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