PES: Welcome back to PES Wind magazine, David. It’s been just over a year since we last spoke so the for our new readers could you give us an overview of Northern Offshore Services and the importance of the wind industry to you?
David Kristensson: Thank you. We are grateful for your interest in our business group. We work in a very interesting industry with almost endless business possibilities, but it is also very competitive, which means that during the year we have worked hard on our internal efficiency. Thinking about how we can improve and give even more value to our customers. The results of our internal measurements show that this is having a positive effect, on both our efficiency and operations. The offshore wind industry is by far the most important market for us, which means that we invest a great deal in helping our customers to be eff icient. I’m very happy to report that during the year, N-O-S has also grown and gained a bigger share of the market. We have also increased our f leet with two new vessels, which we see as a conf irmation that we are heading the right direction…
PES: We would love to know if there have been any notable changes in the company or its operations?
DK: As I mentioned earlier, we have almost 40 vessels in operation and have reached a f leet size where it is important to take advantage of the cooperation this provides. We have also changed our way of organizing our vessels and created smaller operation departments. This gives a greater proximity to our crew and vessels, which is another enhancement we are benefiting from. Of course, there is always room for improvement and our quest for this will continue. Another change is we as owners have also acquired a colleague in the industry, which is now part of our company group Northern Offshore Group. This means the group is even bigger and today we operate about 65 vessels.
PES: We know that company values have always been of paramount importance? How does this contribute to your growth?
DK: Strong and clear values and a similar approach help us in working towards the same goals, which in turn, helps to keep the company and the employees together. I believe strongly in our values and that we all benef it from them. These values are the ones I grew up with on the island of Donsö. I grew up with role models, who had a strong ethos, which they carried on within their companies and which helped them become successful. When you expand as a company, your values are one of the most important parameters you have. They provide a good philosophy, which in turn, enables the employees to develop and grow.
PES: Can you update us about any new projects you are working on currently and do you have any new models in the pipeline?
DK: Last year I mentioned that we were close to a new ship model, which we have now ordered and put into production. We are very happy and proud of this. This is our third generation Crew Transfer Vessel (CTV), which we developed together with our partners and it will be within the E-class series. Once again, we have come up with a unique design that demonstrates what N-O-S stands for and believes in. The vessel is one of the f irst hybrid CTVs in the world and will be bigger than its forerunners, with a length of 25m, which gives better performance and endurance. The vessel is full of new technology and we have made it possible to operate fully on zero emissions in what we call environmental mode. It has been designed to be able to charge the batteries directly out in the f ield and is already prepared for the addition of more battery power, which will allow it to operate completely emission free. This new vessel represents everything we at N-O-S stand for: new development of technology, innovation, reliability, good comfort and adding value to our customers.
PES: We have been hearing a lot of talk about Zero emission CTV solutions recently. When do you expect your ZERO emission CTV to come into service?
DK: Our new E-class will be delivered in two years. This vessel is another step for us towards meeting the UN’s sustainable development goals in Agenda 2030.
PES: A part from your CTVs, you offer a range of services to the offshore market, which of these are proving most important to your customers and why do you think that is?
DK: We are constantly trying to provide our customers with a good service and generating more customer value. I believe that with the size that we are now, we can provide our customers with a better overall flexible solution, with not only our vessels, but also the network we have built. Our company group, Northern Offshore Group, is also important as we can create synergies, as we now have the resources of four companies within the group that all, in their own way provide services to the offshore industry.
PES: What do you think makes you stand out from the competition?
DK: We have our vision that we should be BEST 365, to do our best every day and not stray from that. This I believe and know helps us to keep focused and empowers us to provide a good service. We are also very proud of our vessels and we have the inhouse resources to develop new generations of vessels, which we have done several times, including our latest E-class. We have unique vessels, built on years of experience, which we feel makes them the best vessels on the market.
PES: How important are health and safety and training to you as a company?
DK: For us health, safety and training are a matter of course. Without this, we cannot do anything at all, so everything we do must be safe and correct. All our employees must have the correct training and know how to perform their tasks. We have this in our mission and in all our training and education, we show that this is something we constantly must work hard at, to be able to develop as a company and also importantly, to show that we are serious and long term. We get to help other operators in new markets with this work and it is very fulf illing to realize that others think we are setting a good standard.
PES: Geographically speaking, we would be interested to know where your main markets are and if these have changed during recent years?
DK: Our main market is Europe, but we have taken our first steps outside of Europe now as well. During the year we have done jobs in Asia and we hope, of course that we will also be able to work in the US and other markets where the offshore wind industry is increasing.
PES: How do you see the wind market at the moment and do you see this changing in the near future? Do you envisage that BREXIT may have any impact at all on the market?
DK: The market for our type of service has been severely strained for several years now. We see this because several of our colleagues have had a hard time and some have even closed down. I think the whole chain, not least the customers, must give us a little more long-term perspective on the contracts and tasks we should be preparing for as we face huge investments in new vessels, which is diff icult to do if you do not have a long-term perspective. Brexit is on everyone’s lips and the question over what’s going to happen. Right now, no one can know for sure, but our group, as I said earlier, has acquired a colleague who has a UK base. This hopefully, makes us as a group, well equipped for what the future brings. However, the market has to improve in some way or diluting our segment, which will mean many colleagues will not be able to continue.
PES: Looking forward, is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers as we move toward 2020?
DK: We are very much looking forward to our delivery of our new E-class series and the new exciting business that will further strengthen our position. We will also continue to deliver high quality services and have even more satisf ied customers. For us, it is important to take responsibility for a sustainable future for our customers and also, humanity and the environment. Our new battery powered hybrid E-class vessel series will receive our own eco-label, which means that with innovative sustainable solutions, for example, we will reduce energy consumption and thus, our environmental impact. It has always been obvious to us that we need to develop the vessels in terms of the environment and our ambition is to be a role model in the industry when it comes to environmental work.