A2Sea achieves 524% growth over 5 years

New entrants in vessel market is "positive sign"

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A2Sea has achieved strong growth since 2007, and is forecasting annual revenue of DK1.1-1.2bn (€148m) for this year. If this is achieved, the company will have grown by almost 525% over five years.

As a company set up specifically to serve the Northern European offshore wind market, A2Sea has become a leader in vessel supply, currently commanding about a 50% market share in the supply of turbine installation vessels. Its share of the foundation installation market is smaller, though still significant.

Speaking with Windpower Offshore, A2Sea chief executive, Jens Frederik Hansen, said that the company is not run as a shipping firm, but as a project management firm. This project focus means A2 Sea views itself as an integral part of the development of an offshore wind industry, not just as an equipment supplier. Indeed, offshore wind remains the only market in which A2Sea is active and the company offers a range of project services in addition to vessel hire.

"We have learned a lot over the years and is why we describe ourselves as being ‘Powered by knowhow,’" explains Hansen.

Jointly owned by Dong Energy (51%) and Siemens (49%), A2Sea has grown rapidly over the last five years. In 2007, annual revenue was DK210m (€283,000). By the following year, this had more than doubled to DK450m. In 2009 and 2010 annual revenue was DK600m, after which it jumped again, rising to DK954m in 2011. "We are growing quite fast and I am satisfied," says Hansen.

In the UK, A2Sea recently completed work on the installation of monopiles for the Teesside offshore wind farm, and it will work on the installation of both foundations and turbines for the much larger London Array project. It is working for Vattenfall at Ormonde and, in German waters, on Baltic 1. Its project list also includes Robin Rigg, Horns Rev, Sheringham Shoal and Greater Gabbard. In fact, A2Sea has installed half of the offshore turbines in UK waters.

New vessel designs

Looking ahead, Hansen says he is pleased that more players are entering the offshore wind vessels market, as this is a sign of the dynamism and health of the offshore wind industry as a whole.

However, he is keen for new vessel designs to perform well. "I hope, for the industry’s sake, that as new vessels come online, they will do so without too many difficulties – that new technology will work well and won’t be too disruptive. It could hurt the industry if new vessels don’t perform well," explains Hansen.

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