Young Offshore Service Provider Moves to Buitenhaven Vlissingen
Recently, Delta Coastal Services moved from Middelburg to the Buitenhaven in the port of Vlissingen. From this unique location, the young company wants to execute their fair, but ambitious, plans. Zeeland PortNews talks with Managing Director Pieter Janssen.
Delta Coastal Services: "Continuity is What We Offer&"
DCS is a service provider with its origins in dredging and civil waterworks. The company operates both off and onshore. During dredging operations, they assist with the allocation of the pipes and their vessels are used for surveying and sounding operations. Together with the crew, equipment and (spare) parts can be safely and quickly transferred to and from the dredgers. With this fast-response expertise, the company is now aiming at the growing offshore wind market. Mr Pieter Janssen, Director of DCS, reflects: “When we were granted our first assignment in dredging, we didn’t even have a vessel, so it was a bit of a challenging experience. But we did a good job and our first customer is still using our expertise.”
Close to the Offshore Windfarms
After this flying start, things went very fast for DSC, and soon one vessel was not enough to take care of all the assignments. Janssen continues, “Today, we are aiming at various markets in the offshore sector, and our expansion requires extra vessels for various kinds of operations. Now we own five vessels, one of which is currently being commissioned for her new task. Obviously, the offshore wind industry is currently the place to be. With vessels located in the port of Vlissingen and at Neeltje Jans (the Eastern Scheldt Storm Surge Barrier), we are close to many North Sea offshore windfarms that are either planned, under construction or already commissioned.”
Move to Unique Location
DCS recently decided to move its offices from Middelburg to the Buitenhaven in Vlissingen. Mr Janssen elaborates, “When we had the opportunity to move in to one of the buildings at Veiligheidscentrum Zeeland (Zeeland Safety Centre) we didn’t hesitate for a second, as this location is unique. We now have our own mooring facilities with a jetty and a pontoon for our vessels at less than twenty metres from our office. This strategic location, with an open, lock-free connection to the Western Scheldt River and less than one hour’s sailing time to the North Sea, enables our clients to cost-effectively transfer goods and crew. In addition to this, it is certainly convenient that we are so well connected to the hinterland by road and rail. We are within 400m from the railway station with a direct connection to Schiphol Airport, so offshore crew can travel swiftly and easily to and from the airport.”
Boskalis and Fugro
However, it is not just the location that matters. Janssen continues: “In our offices, members of or clients’ personnel are able to use one of our rooms as a temporary office or for meetings. We provide customers with a full service package, as we have everything available for their convenience.” Boskalis and Fugro are the first companies to make use of this service as they are renting office and working space for at least the next three years. From this location, they will be able to supply offshore services in the North Sea. Their first assignment is for TenneT TSO to survey and identify Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) in relation to the cable routes for the planned offshore grid connection of the Borssele offshore windfarm.
“Being close to the soon-to-be-built Dutch and Belgian offshore windfarms such as Borssele and Norther is perfect for us,” Mr Janssens explains, “yet our scope reaches even further. In other offshore sectors, we already operate in Denmark, France, Germany and the UK, as distances are never too far in the North Sea region. It is just a small trip to the UK from Vlissingen, and even Denmark only takes 22 hours. The same applies to the offshore wind market, construction and O&M, as these operators and contractors can also profit from our service anywhere in the North Sea.” When searching for opportunities, DSC also looks at the nautical maintenance market. “As we have everything on hand, we can offer a complete package of nautical maintenance services, such as maintaining and repairing buoys and lights. Our aim is a balanced scope of work in various segments. Our core business, around 30% of our work, will be supplying quick response service at sea, another 30% will be in dredging support, 20% of our work lies in surveying and sounding, and the remaining 20% should be nautical O&M,” adds Mr Janssen.
DCS wants to be a full service partner for the offshore industry. “In this business, continuity is very important and this is precisely what we offer. Any delay in an O&M operation costs money. With our full-time quick response service, we can help contractors and operators save both time and money. With four vessels, we are able to offer a 24/7 service.” DCS at present provides services with the DCS 1, the DCS Warrior, the DCS Discovery and a fast rib. A fifth vessel, a former pilot vessel, will be available as soon as commissioning is finished. “The Warrior is a very comfortable vessel, with dedicated accommodation for passengers in the front. The catamaran DSC Discovery, is a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose vessel.” Mr Janssen adds: “With our fifth vessel soon to be operational as well, we can further expand our marine services and guarantee fulltime availability from Zeeland.”
Apart from this, DCS has also set up a partnership with the owner of a guard vessel. With this new facility, the company will expand its activities to include traffic control during dredging operations. Mr Janssen says, “It is always good to have an extra eye on the surroundings during a dredging operation. With the guard vessel, we can control traffic around the operation. We give passing vessels fair warning about the dredging operation, so they can keep their distance. In doing so, the dredging staff can concentrate on their work, which helps the dredging company to work safely and securely.”
Veiligheidscentrum Zeeland offers education and training facilities, in the field of offshore safety, for example. Mr Janssen states, “We have a good relationship with the Centre and recently we decided to join forces in our approach towards the offshore wind market. The services from these two institutions are very complementary and together we can offer the industry a full service. Soon the Centre will also start offering O&M courses for the offshore wind industry.” Delta Coastal Services is rapidly growing. The staff currently includes approximately 30 fulltime employees. Janssen concludes, “Things are now indeed going well, which is a good thing, as it proves that our customers are satisfied with what we are doing for them. In joining forces with Veiligheidscentrum Zeeland, we will both profit from the developments in the renewables industry, but our primary concern is to be sure that our growth does not lead to diminished quality and service. We are very careful not to run too fast.”