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Keppel Offshore & Marine returns to the black

Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) returned to the black in 2019 its first profitable year since 2016.

The shipyard and rigbuilding division of Keppel Corp reported a net profit of SGD10m last year compared to SGD109m loss in 2018.

Keppel O&M inked over SGD2bn in new orders in 2019 up 18% on the previous year and Keppel Corp ceo Loh Chin Hua highlighted its success winning orders outside its traditional rigbuilding business. “Keppel O&M’s diversification strategy has borne fruit, with gas and renewables making up over 60% of these new orders,” he said.

It’s ship repair business, Keppel Shipyard, also benefited from over 100 scrubber and ballast water treatment system retrofits to meet the new IMO 2020 and Ballast Water Management regulations.

Looking ahead Loh said: “In the near-term, we will continue to actively seek opportunities in the oil and gas production market where a number of project FIDs are expected in 2020. We will also pursue projects in the growing offshore renewables sector, as well as niche segments of the specialised vessel market.”

Keppel O&M’s net orderbook stood at SGD4.4bn at the end of 2019 and the yard hired 2,800 additional workers across the course of the year to cope with its increased workload, having cut its workforce by well over 10,000 when times were tougher. The yard group expects to add a further 1,500 to its workforce this year.

”We have high hopes. We hope that there will be even stronger orders this year. Keppel O&M is now working on quite a number of enquiries,” Loh said, when asked about the increase in workforce.

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