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Sembcorp Marine yard workforce cut to 850 from 20,000 due to COVID-19 restrictions

Shipyard group Sembcorp Marine (Sembmarine) has seen its workforce in Singapore cut to just 850 from 20,000 due to a restrictions on foreign workers from leaving dormitories to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Sembmarine said in a Q1 update that measures by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower that from 21 April disallowed workers from leaving their dormitories had reduced its yard operating workforce from around 20,000 to 850.

Foreign worker dormitories have been a major source of a second wave of COVID-19 infection in Singapore since early April with isolation declared for dormitories where outbreaks have occurred. The country has been under a partial lockdown, known as a Circuit Breaker, which is set to end on 1 June.

The group’s Sembawang Shipyard was identified as COVID-19 cluster on 19 April with seven cases linked to the yard.

“The reduced workforce was deployed to manage critical works and support yard essential services such as emergency response teams, facilities and utilities management, dormitory operations (including the central kitchen), medical centres and yard security. This was applied to our yards in Singapore,” the shipyard group said.

The sharp reduction in its operational workforce has resulted in reduced yard activity and delays in executing existing orders.

“Our yard activities have been severely constrained by the reduced workforce. We will continue to assess the impact on our project schedules and are working closely with our customers to manage the ongoing projects during this challenging period. We aim to reactivate our workforce and resume work safely and efficiently when the measures are lifted,” Sembmarine said.

 

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