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Boskalis: Sea Solutions

Boskalis is raising the stakes in maritime services and dredging solutions. Having been in operation for more than a century, they have built up an impressive repertoire of projects that have helped sustain their position as a leading offshore contractor. Most recently, they have reached new heights in their offshore sector, with their hundredth offshore windfarm project. Such prosperity in the marine sector is attributable to the unique amalgamation of expertise, a dedicated workforce, and a fleet of mighty vessels. Thus, Boskalis has become a flagship for Dutch marine success, as they tenaciously operate across 90 countries.  

Based in the Netherlands, they provide the most diverse range of dredging, offshore transport, and installation solutions, amongst other marine services such as towage and salvage. Consequently, Boskalis are always one step ahead of their competitors, due to their unique use of over 600 vessels and other floating equipment, which makes them ideal for unlocking complex infrastructure potential across the global maritime sector.  

The notion of marine services is a broad sector to cover, but when looking at their activity in closer detail, dredging has remained a main focus for Boskalis since 1910. Through their initial projects, such as the Zuider Zee inland restoration project, they quickly became recognised for their dredging excellence. So much so, that they obtained a landmark project in 1953, playing a major role in the Delta Works Project. As one of the seven wonders of the modern world, Boskalis were instrumental in the reconstruction process following the tragic flood disasters in the Netherlands, helping protect the county from any future flooding. Further notable events include the acquisition of a Royal designation. Receiving such a seal of approval was further recognition of the dedicated work that Boskalis conducted at the time and continues to do for their country.   

In regard to global expansion, venturing out of the Netherlands first occurred in the 1930s, when they broke out to the UK by establishing the Westminster Dredging Company in London in 1933. Twenty years later, Boskalis and Westminster Dredging Company further collaborated on innovative projects all over the world, including Australia, Canada and the Middle East. Other notable international projects include the mighty Oresund Tunnel and Bahia Blanco port construction in Argentina, as well as the highly complex Hong Kong international airport and land reclamation in Singapore. Therefore, with an extensive network of branches across 6 continents, Boskalis has become a leading name in the international maritime industry.  

So, what does Boskalis look like today? Greatly evolving from their standardised dredging services, they offer a wide range of end-end to offshore energy services. Such activities include but are not limited to, the development, construction, transport, installation, inspection, repair & maintenance (IRM) and decommissioning of oil, offshore platforms, pipelines windfarms, and much more. The company also offers vital protection in marine services, with towage and emergency response being a major priority.  

As Boskalis expands its practices, the completion of offshore energy projects crucially serves the international energy sector, particularly in oil, gas, and renewable energy sorts. Boskalis has recently announced its acquisition of a contract to construct a large offshore windfarm off the coast of the United States. It marks the 100th offshore windfarm constructed by Boskalis in the past decade. This new windfarm shows the leading role Boskalis plays in the offshore wind market. With their combination of hydraulic engineering and offshore activities, they are making a crucial contribution to the global energy transition.  

Boskalis has also become a market leader in dredging. For those that aren’t hot on logistics terminology, the dredging activities include the construction and maintenance of ports and waterways, coastal defence riverbank protection, and land reclamation. Often dredging projects are on a very large scale and require multi-disciplinary expertise and a versatile fleet. To mitigate any damage done by large-scale operations, the Boskalis dredging team are known for specialist environmental-friendly dredging techniques, as well as safety and cost-efficiency. Moreover, as an alternative to their offshore activity, Boskalis also conduct inland infra-activities, which require the preparation and execution of dry-earth moving and large-scale civil works. These projects are completed by Boskalis Nederland; an offshoot of the company specially created for inland operations.  

Boskalis also diligently completes projects in towage and salvage. Regarding the former, Boskalis will provide a helping hand to terminal services across the world, through a strategic collaboration with Smit Lamnalco. As part of the joint venture, they send out a fleet of over 150 vessels to ports in the Asia-Pacific area, all controlled by an experienced crew. Their salvage operations offer a similar sentiment, providing an emergency response for those that are in distress. Again, the vital services are not limited by geographical location, thanks to four well-equipped locations in Rotterdam, Houston, Cape Town and Singapore. Plus, a bonus can be found in the offering of environmental care services, which can involve the safe disposal of hazardous cargo and fuel that has escaped from vessels that have run aground.  

As oil spillages and carbon emissions from ships have a detrimental impact on climate change, Boskalis has created an environmental initiative to help offset and reduce the dangerous contributions that the marine industry is having on the environment. Named the ‘Building with Nature’ program, it utilises elements of nature to influence environmental policy. Especially influential is the impact that natural forces such as wind and currents have in the design of hydraulic engineering solutions. Consequently, a balance can be found between economic development and environmental care. The initiative is quickly becoming influential across the Netherlands, as Boskalis has been working closely with the Dutch government, as well as universities and knowledge institutes, to build an environmental entity that will have a meaningful impact on the marine industry’s environmental footprint.  

Unlike many other maritime service providers, the highly qualified research and development department has become essential to Boskalis. With a consistent stream of investment in new methods and state-of-the-art technology, their clients and stakeholders witness increased efficiency and environmental sustainability in their offshore and dredging activities. Boskalis have a highly comprehensive research team who operate in the in-house test facilities, as well as collaborating with international peer group companies, universities, and research institutes so that Boskalis can tackle the most complex of projects.  

Overall, the work of Boskalis has become indispensable to the global maritime industry, with a fleet of ships and dedicated services that are seldom seen elsewhere in the maritime market. As a result, they have made a significant impact in both the Netherlands and beyond for over a century.