Homero Guerra
Vice President of Mexico and Equatorial Americas
View from the Top

Deepwater Pickup Has Reactivations on the Horizon

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 17:25

Q: What company achievements are you most proud of in the Mexican market in 2018 and what were the missed opportunities?

A: 2018 was a fairly flat year but business started picking up toward the end, especially in reactivations. ABS decided to reorganize some of its operations and create other setup services to improve client support. One of the ways we approached this from an operational perspective was to implement a hemisphere-based organizational style. Many of the administrative functions have moved to central areas, which improves efficiency. Another exciting development was the creation of a new group called ABS Advanced Solutions, which is focusing on maintenance optimization, asset integrity management, cybersecurity and advanced engineering. It will support clients with solutions that address a range of problems. Asset uptime is another topic that clients are interested in. Everybody is experiencing OPEX reduction, so the challenge is to maintain the same level of safety with reduced financing. Environmental compliance is another major issue within the marine and offshore industries.

Q: What is the main differentiating value of the company compared to its competitors?

A: One of the challenges we see is that many clients have less time. This means we must be ready to support our clients whenever necessary. Planning is critical. For our clients, the advantage of using ABS is that we have a detailed understanding of their available assets and that our relationships extend throughout the entire supply chain of the maritime industry. We are very well-prepared to help clients meet their expectations within the regulatory framework.

Q: What role will reactivation play in your business in 2019?

A: Given the federal administration’s priorities, we are expecting more investment in PEMEX in 2019, both in shallow water and deepwater. If this holds true, there should be many vessels reactivated in the Mexican market. Around 45-50 percent of the OSV market has been laid up throughout the last few years so reactivations will be a challenge for clients given the many considerations, the technology the vessel is equipped with or whether or not it is a warm stack. We know the assets and we work across the entire supply chain so we know the equipment manufacturers and the regulatory environment as well. We are in a very strong position to advise clients on planning for reactivation success. When reactivation is more efficient the client enjoys a reduction in costs.

Q: If you were the CEO of a vessel-owning or rig-owning company, what technologies would you invest in immediately?

A: I would look into newer technologies for vessels. Hybridpower technologies would help ease pressure from fuel costs and environmental concerns. There is a strong emphasis on meeting environmental considerations in Europe and North America and this will shortly arrive to Mexico. One of ABS’ focuses is on new advisory services for hybrid electric power, including lithium ION batteries, super capacitors and fuel cells, as well as solar and wind power. Not every technology is available to all vessels but we have worked with SEACOR to turn four vessels into hybrids. The first is already completed. The vessel will be far more fuelefficient and have a positive impact on the environment and on marketability. Data-centric asset management and vessel fueling are two major trends that will have a great impact on the maritime industry.

Q: Mexico is an unlikely frontrunner in the technology development trend, but what must be done to ensure the country is not left behind?

A: An advantage that Mexico has as a result of the Energy Reform is that other players and new ideas have been welcomed. Moving into deepwater requires the use of other technologies. There will also be room for everybody because there will always be areas in which traditional vessels without technology are needed. As we move into more challenging environments like deepwater, we will need to use technology to our advantage. Companies that do not embrace this technology may be left behind.

ABS provides traditional classification services and on-theground technical services in asset performance, energy
efficiency, environmental performance and life cycle management.