BUMI Armada Bhd is on an aggressive
fleet expansion drive despite concerns of declining global demand
which is Malaysia's largest owner and operator of offshore support
vessels (OSV), launched its 46th offshore support vessel the
Armada Firman 2 last week.
Bumi Armada executive director and
chief executive officer Hassan Basma said the company was targeting
to have over 70 vessels by 2009.
He added that the vessels would be
financed via internal funds and bank borrowings.
We are looking to be the largest
OSV operator in South East Asia by 2009, he told reporters after
the unveiling of the Armada Firman 2 at the Drydocks World Shipyard
in Tuas, Singapore recently.
The 6,000 brake horse power Armada
Firman 2 is equipped with dynamic positioning capabilities, allowing
the vessel to remain in a fixed position with the use of propellers
and thrusters rather than physical moorings or anchors.
Construction works on the Armada
Firman 3 which is due to be completed by year end are currently
ongoing at the Drydocks World Shipyard,
Hassan said both the vessels
(Armada Firman 2 and Armada Firman 3) would be deployed to Angola.
He is still optimistic about
acquiring more vessels despite confirming a report by Bloomberg
last week that the global demand for vessels was expected to
slow down in the next two years due to rising oil prices.
According to Hassan, the lower
demand for vessels would not be an issue for Bumi Armada as the
company was providing newer, more powerful and better-equipped
vessels for charter compared with their competitors.
Apart from OSVs, Bumi Armada's
fleet comprises floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO)
vessels, anchor handling tug and supply vessels and workboats and
Bumi Armada serves clients in
Malaysia and countries within South East Asia, the Middle East and
Hassan said 65% of annual revenue
came from operations in the domestic market while the remaining 35%
were from overseas.
Going forward we expect this ratio
to reverse, he said, adding that 25% of its business currently
comprised doing fleet work associated with Petroliam Nasional Bhd.
Hassan also said Bumi Armada had
plans to acquire at least one FPSO a year. The company currently has
two the Armada Perkasa and Armada Perdana.