Subsea Global Solutions (SGS), a Florida based underwater ship repair and maintenance specialist, is participating at this year’s SMM, the leading trade fair for the maritime industry being held in Hamburg, Germany.
During the fair Subsea World News reporter spoke with Mr. Rick Schilling, EVP Business Development, about the Company’s current projects and plans for the future.
Hereby we are bringing you a part of their conversation.
Could you introduce your Company to our readers?
Rick Schilling: Subsea Global Solutions is an underwater ship repair and maintenance company. We’re focused on underwater maintenance of ships which include hull cleaning, propeller polishing, class approved in-water surveys and inspections as well as major repairs.
We operate at 10 locations in Europe, Caribbean and North America.
Could you tell us something more about your clients and companies that you are working with?
Rick Schilling: We work with all major oil and gas clients for example Technip, Saipem, Helix, Transocean, Noble Drilling, Prosafe etc.
We have contracts in place with BP and Shell, providing all kinds of services to their ocean going fleet as well as their oil and gas vessels operating in Africa, West Africa and Gulf of Mexico as well as the North Sea.
Could you tell us something about your latest projects?
Rick Schilling: Just in the past month we’ve been involved in projects with Technip.
During the wet dock we overhauled all their tunnel thrusters alongside in the water so the vessel did not have to go to drydock.
This past month we’ve also done the exchange of azimuth thrusters in the Gulf of Mexico for Helix.
Probably one of the most significant elements that we were able to achieve this past month is the approval from DNV GL for underwater Class A wet weld.
We’ve now been able to achieve permanent status on that weld from Class so what that means is we can weld certain materials, obviously certain types of steel on certain areas of the vessel and basically achieve the same metallurgical properties within the weld and within the base material as if that weld was done in a dry environment on the surface.
By doing that classification societies have now deemed that weld to be a permanent repair once it’s completed by us.
So that’s the first of its kind and on a case by case basis that is being applied to ship repair around the world.
Eventually as we gain more experience as well as DNV GL gaining more and more experience it starts to change the way that ships and underwater welding is done.
We’re really proud to be pioneers in the development of this technique for the industry.
What are your plans for the future?
Rick Schilling: We’re continuing the growth, in the last year we’ve opened up three locations around the world, two of them in Europe: one in Spain and another one in Italy. We also opened up an additional one in Trinidad.
We’re going to continue to expand our locations into Central America and the Caribbean as well as into the Gulf of Mexico.
We’re very customer focused and we’re going to grow where the customers’ needs are.
We continue to invest in development of what we call ‘vetted partners’ and there we vet the qualifications of the people and the support equipment that those companies may have for us and we put our own specialized equipment in some of these companies around the world.
So as an example, we have invested over half of million dollars with the specialized equipment into Brazil to support the oil and gas market and offshore fleets in and around the Brazilian market.
We’ve done the same in Singapore as well as in West Africa.
We’re pioneers in the development of hull cleaning equipment and we’re in the process of getting our equipment certified by the California Water Board for doing hull cleaning and propeller polishing in impure waters.
Again changing the menu, coming up with technology to not fight with the regulatory bodies but figure out how to meet their requirements and strains in an economical and proficient method.
I think from a technical prospective we’re continuing to push the envelope and create new solutions for our clientele based on their needs.
SGS has created techniques for repairing thrusters underwater which typically you would have to put in drydock forcing the vessel to come out of service.
We’ve now put together a technique of super polishing propellers. Who would think that polishing of propellers to the almost perfect finish will improve the efficiency of a vessel by 60-70%, but it does.
That’s big numbers in fuel, and that means that propeller polishing costing maybe 7 to 8 thousand euros is paid back in a week, so it’s coming up with these sorts of solutions that really add value to our customers’ business and that’s one of our core values.
When it comes to innovation our focus is making the impossible possible and that maintained us as a leader in the industry.
As a company we’ll continue to grow and evolve globally and I think the future looks bright for us.
What are your impressions about SMM 2014?
Rick Schilling: For us this is a great show, we’re not a big company but everyone knows us, so this is a great opportunity to meet everyone in one location.
The show has been phenomenal, very well attended and the quality of the meetings and the discussions we’re having with our clients out here are excellent.
This is the only show that I would say I attend globally that we consistently return home with business.
Subsea World News Staff, September 12, 2014