Transforming for beyond

Delivering BOURBON 2015 Leadership Strategy and implementing “Transforming for beyond”

Interview with Jacques de Chateauvieux, chairman of the Board, and Christian Lefèvre, CEO

Since 2011, BOURBON’s strategy has centered on « BOURBON 2015 Leadership Strategy », how instrumental is it to BOURBON’s growth?

Jacques de Chateauvieux : Over the last two years, BOURBON has become a major player in the offshore marine services market.
Today BOURBON has the largest fleet of vessels in operation and construction, and as a result of continuous investments of over US$5 billion in innovative and cost-efficient vessels built in series; BOURBON today has top-of-the-class turnover and EBITDA within the industry.

How far have you got with the 2 billion US dollars investment plan in the ordering of new vessels to extend the BOURBON fleet?

Christian Lefèvre : Since July 2010, we have engaged 65% of the plan’s US$2 billion for the 3 series of supply vessels (Bourbon Liberty 150, Bourbon Liberty 300 and Bourbon Explorer 500) being delivered from mid-2012 to 2014.

BOURBON will engage the last third of its investment plan, investing €500 million to order 41 vessels, spread among our 4 segments, Deepwater offshore supply vessels, Shallow water offshore supply vessels, Crewboats and Subsea vessels.

This will bring the BOURBON fleet to more than 550 vessels end of 2015, with an average age of 5 to 6 years.

Anticipating beyond 2015 and future growth, you are announcing a new action plan « Transforming for beyond », why are you changing BOURBON’s DNA?

Jacques de Chateauvieux : We are not changing our DNA. We’re capitalizing on it. Over the last 10 years, BOURBON has developed its DNA as an offshore maritime services specialist by controlling the design, engineering and construction of vessels it owns and operates, and delivering the highest standards of services.
To open up the scope of achievable strategies beyond 2015, BOURBON wants to transform itself now to be ready to deliver growth and value creation further.

What are the directions of “Transforming for beyond”?

Jacques de Chateauvieux : “Transforming for beyond”, our new action plan, is focused in 4 different directions:

  • My BOURBON”: a transparent and personalized customer relations platform to improve the common fruits of our working together.
  • “Under the flag of excellence”: for all our staff this means growing and evolving together. What can BOURBON do for them? What does each of them want to do for BOURBON?
  • The “BOURBON way”: striving for operational excellence and cost control by developing the existing tools.
  • “Asset smart”: building a strong financial foundation through an appropriate investment strategy.

With regard to the financial aspect of the “Transforming for beyond” action plan, the Board of Directors of BOURBON has approved the sale and 10 year bareboat chartering of US$2.5 billion of existing or under construction vessels.

21 vessels were transferred to ICBCL in 2013 as part of the sale and bareboat charter agreement for up to 51 vessels, signed off with ICBCL on April 9th 2013. The transfer of the remaining maximum 30 vessels should take place during the first half of 2014.

In addition, at the end of November 2013, BOURBON signed an agreement with Standard Chartered Bank (“SCB”) for the sale and bareboat charter of 6 new build vessels. The ownership of 3 vessels has been transferred and the remaining 3 vessels will be delivered to SCB during the second half of 2014.

Client satisfaction is central to your ambitions and guides your operational strategy. How do you implement this strategy?

Christian Lefèvre : Marine operations are by definition very exposed: the risk management and more specifically the operational risk management is therefore a major concern for our clients. We are responding to their demands with a 4-pillared operational strategy: 

  • Safety of people and assets, with due respect for environment, onshore and at sea:
    Throughout our company we do our outmost to achieve “zero-accident.” No operation is conducted before a risk assessment analysis has been done.
  • Competency to guarantee quality of service:
    BOURBON is determined to recruit and promote qualified and experienced personnel for the proposed operations, applying its own procedures along with those defined by clients.
  • Technical availability of vessels for continuity of service:
    BOURBON operates built-in-series vessels and standardizes their equipment. This means that personnel can be trained worldwide on simulators and it is a considerable advantage for preventive maintenance – all of which helps toward better availability of our vessels for clients.
  • Cost optimization and fuel savings:
    30% to 50% of our clients’ costs relate to vessel fuel consumption. Diesel-electric propulsion, which is already installed on 60% of our supply vessels, enables clients to make fuel consumption savings of up to 30% compared with a similar vessel with standard propulsion.

Transforming for beyond launch : watch the conference

(total: 22 min)

Jacques de Chateauvieux, Chairman of the Board of Directors

March 6th 2013