The recent opening of new offices in Singapore and Malaysian offices is another step in our strategy to expand business in the South-East Asia Pacific region. In this article Mark Paasman, Alewijnse’s Offshore Business Development Manager, tells you more about further plans and developments in the region.
Malaysia is becoming increasingly popular with the region’s offshore operators. How does Alewijnse hope to tap into that?
“Asian customers seek quality assurance, as well as reliable and experienced partners who are on the spot. This has created an opening for companies like Alewijnse and Willtech. Our joint operations at the Johor Port offshore base offer clients a complete and high quality service in a key location, which is a hotspot for engineering, procurement, construction, installation & commissioning for offshore-related projects. Willtech has a unique agreement with Johor Port to utilize specially selected quayside facilities at the port. The minimum draft is 11 meters, so it is capable of taking very large vessels or rigs.”
How soon do you expect that new business will arrive at this new location and what are you doing to attract it?
“We only signed off the new entities in Singapore and Malaysia during the Asia Pacific Maritime 2014 show in March, where we officially went live and presented ourselves to the Asian market for the first time. We've subsequently had a lot of walk-ins that have already resulted in contracts for heavy lifting vessels, or floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) units, one for e.g. electrical supervision and maintenance that was finalized yesterday after just 50 days. An unbelievably fast time to contract in this region. We expect the orders to grow in size as we become established and big companies start taking notice.”
What incentives do prospective customers have to use the new facility in Johor Port and the services offered by Alewijnse and Willtech?
“Willtech is the mechanical specialist and we are their electrical equivalent, so together we offer a complementary service. The fact that we now have a presence in both Singapore and Malaysia means that as prices are driven higher in Singapore, we can switch to the location offering the most advantageous prices, which is currently Malaysia. This enables us to maintain our price competitiveness and attract more customers.”
How did Alewijnse and Willtech find each other?
“I gave a presentation to a ship owner, after which I was introduced to Mr. Lau, Willtech’s CEO. From that moment on, it clicked and it evolved in a mutual respectful friendship. Our views of the Asian offshore market are the same as well as the way of doing business. Mr Wille, his partner, based in The Netherlands was equally enthusiastic and thus a partnership grew from that moment on.”
What is the game plan for future success?
“We will focus on refits, repairs, service & maintenance jobs and lifetime extension programs for various offshore related projects, rather than trying to attack the new-build market.”
What are Alewijnse’s goals in the region for the immediate future?
“Keeping the positive momentum going and never stop. Expand wisely and be a self-sustaining offshore hub within five years.”