Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) and Royal Volker Wessels Stevin N.V. (VolkerWessels) have signed a Letter of Intent to set up a joint venture combining their forces in the field of cable installation. Boskalis and VolkerWessels will each hold a 50% stake in Visser & Smit Marine Contracting Holding B.V. (currently a 100% subsidiary of VolkerWessels), which will continue its activities under the name VSMC.
The two companies see opportunities for strengthening their proposition in the market for offshore cable installation works, with the joint venture primarily focusing on the installation of offshore power cables, for example for wind farms (both infield and export cables). Boskalis and VSMC already work together on a project basis. Given the well-filled order book and the possibilities for pooling knowledge and equipment, the two companies are enthusiastic about the collaboration.
Through this cooperation VSMC will have access to two cable-laying vessels, the Stemat Spirit and the Ndurance. The Ndurance will be delivered in the course of this year. These vessels are fitted with DP class 2 equipment with a cable turntable capacity of around 5,000 tonnes and are wholly owned by the two parent companies.
Boskalis and VSMC have already recently worked together on developing the Trenchformer, a multi-purpose cable trencher capable of dealing with many different types of soil and cables. The trencher is able to bury cables in water depths of up to 400 meters. As well as working alongside a cable-laying vessel the Trenchformer can also be deployed as an independent spread. An extensive testing program is currently underway in the Maasvlakte industrial area and the Moerdijk, after which the Trenchformer will be deployed on projects from the summer.