Siem Offshore is in the process of transferring the ownership of the company's fleet to Norway and will concentrate the day-to-day operation of the fleet in Kristiansand.
Norway will be the base for the international operation of offshore vessels. We are building on our foundation of Norwegian maritime expertise and experience, with a core of Norwegian employees onshore and offshore. The company will continue to strive for an open organization for the international operations with equal opportunities for all employees. Crew will, as far as practical, be employed locally in the countries in where the vessels operate.
25 vessels will now be transferred to Norway into the Norwegian shipping taxation scheme. The fleet represents a tonnage of above 100,000 tons. The company has a modern fleet of platform supply vessels, large anchor handling tug supply vessels, and other support vessels.
We consider the Norwegian rules and conditions to be competitive, and have decided to move the ownership of the vessels to Norway. We trust that both the operation and ownership in Norway will give the company long term predictability and competitiveness, says Kristian Siem, Chairman. We feel a strong connection to the Norwegian maritime environment, and wish to strengthen the connection to Norway and Kristiansand, adds Siem.
Siem Offshore originates from Det Søndenfjeldske Norske Dampskibsselskap founded in 1854 as the oldest shipping company listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The company will maintain its strong connection with the Norwegian maritime cluster and the crewing of the company's vessels will be based upon a core of Norwegian maritime personnel. Siem Offshore has invested heavily in Norway by a newbuilding program for 25 vessels at Norwegian yards at a cost of NOK 11 billion, whereof 14 vessels have been delivered. The building program is one of the largest in Norway ever and represents 12,000 man-years of employment for the Norwegian industry. In addition, the new vessels have created several hundred positions for Norwegian maritime personnel on board the company's vessels.
Flagging of the vessels is under review, and the company has initiated a process to evaluate the composition of the maritime crew. The increasing number of contracts world wide, including West-Africa, South America, India and the Middle East calls for such review. The organization in Norway is under review with the objective to establish an efficient structure for the long term.