Aker Kvaerner Gives New Life to Rosenberg Yard

Aker Kvaerner has decided to reorganize the historic Kvaerner Rosenberg yard in Stavanger and refocus its operations towards new markets. It will be important for a new Rosenberg to have different owners. Aker Kvaerner will contribute to this process, and aims to dispose of its ownership within three years.

Chief Executive Officer, Helge Lund in Aker Kvaerner briefed the Rosenberg workforce about the decision at a staff meeting this morning. The yard currently has 720 employees. The decision has been taken on the basis of detailed assessments of market prospects and after a close dialogue with union officials.

Our emphasis has been finding a solution which provides the best possible answer to the need of the workforce and the local community for time to restructure, says Mr. Lund. At the same time, this solution gives Aker Kvaerner as a group an opportunity to dispose of its ownership without major costs. Refocusing Rosenberg towards new types of work has already been under way for some time. The yard has recently won several such alternative contracts, and demonstrated that it is competitive and attractive. Modifications to and maintenance of drilling rigs and other vessel types are examples of such work. Another is upgrading and maintenance on the Njord B storage tanker, due at the yard in May.

Rosenberg is an efficient fabricator with good customer relations and an impressive reference list, Mr. Lund observes. The challenge is that its traditional market has become too small. Kvaerner Rosenberg will complete two major offshore deliveries in April – the utility and living quarters module for the Grane platform and the gas injection module for Oseberg C. In addition, the yard will prepare the Grane installation for production start by October and deliver a module for Sleipner Vest in February 2004. Once these projects have been completed, Rosenberg will have no traditional new fabrication assignments for the offshore market.

Now that the yard is going to focus on other markets, Aker Kvaerner will no longer be an appropriate owner, says Mr. Lund. We accordingly see the end of Kvaerner Rosenberg and the start of a new Rosenberg.

Implementation of the decision, including necessary capacity adjustments to the yard’s new market, will begin immediately. Union officials will continue to play a key role in the future process.