Expanding interests

Officially established in 1981, West Contractors AS (Westcon) has a history datingback to 1963 with a truly family orientated and quality focused emphasis. Originally conducting coastal fishing and cargo vessel conversions, the yard reached a milestone in 1983 with the acquisition of its first dock, which enabled it to carry out the maintenance of vessels up to 80 metres in length. A second and much larger dock came into operation in the 1990s increasing dock capacity to 150 metres, while at the same time the company entered the rig services market and is a leading yard in this field today. Westcon now occupies a prominent national and international position in the North Sea for maritime and industrial services, and its 370-strong workforce develops solutions for some of the most complex problems in the maritime industry.

Situated on the west coast of Norway, with one of the most modern and successful offshore and marine facilities in the industry, Westcon works closely with customers to provide both flexibility and precision ensuring the yard is as efficient as possible. The company’s highly skilled and knowledgeable staff base is buoyed up by fully updated technical facilities that include floating docks, deepwater quays for three drilling rigs, high payload cranes and state-of-the art machinery. The organisation is split into the three key divisions of new building, which includes the construction of large fishing and offshore vessels, rig repair including conversions, as well as ship repair and dry-docking. This wide portfolio of capabilities can be tailored specifically to meet the needs of oilrig and drilling companies, supply vessel and fishing vessels owners operating in the North Sea, while bespoke solutions can also be delivered throughout the globe.

“The more complicated the job, the better it is for us because then we can compete at the complex and high end of the market,” Georg Matre, manager of the ship repair division of Westcon explains. “We are in direct competition with Baltic yards for projects, while we lead the field for high grade systems and mechanical solutions in the North Sea. Our core strengths lie in our flexibility and extreme focus on meeting time schedules that enables us to carry out projects in very short time frames, keeping the downtime of vessels and rigs at a minimum. We also have a very proactive infrastructure and can get any kind of part delivered within days not weeks.”

Indeed, one of the company’s most recent projects for an offshore supply vessel working for Statoil ASA was delivered two weeks ahead of schedule. The normal six-week Normand Skipper maintenance contract was completed within four weeks with various trips and testing of different systems taking place at the same time. Delivered on the 24th March, the four hectic weeks of work and instalment of the Normand Skipper in the quay covered the installation of a new VROS submarine propeller under the ship in front of the four main engines, the overhaul of the main engines, propellers and bow thruster Azimuth, as well as significant piping, steel and electrical work. At times the quay was crowded with staff as additional maintenance works in different parts of the ship and the cleaning and painting of the hull were also carried out while the ship was in dock.

“We are lucky to have an extremely motivated workforce that pulls together to deliver projects ahead of time, without compromising on quality. This accomplishment was also attained through thorough planning and project organisation, which included working closely with our client to guarantee that the end result would meet their needs. We have also been investing heavily in increasing our capabilities within the industry with the construction of berth facilities capable for FPSOs. Due for completion in December, this asset is taking up over 60 million NOK of funding and when finished will increase our capacity by up to 30 per cent. It is important that we constantly look to expand our interests and we are currently increasing our influence in the engineering field,” Georg notes.

To meet the needs of its expanding client base, the company founded a new office at the end of 2009 that is dedicated to the facilitation of engineering contracts. Based in Stavanger, Norway this office is designed to be close to the heart of the Norwegian offshore market and its inordinate success so far will be key to Westcon’s future growth. This division of the company offers customers a complete set of unrivalled engineering services that are based on the Westcon values of close communication, efficiency and positive relationships. Furthermore, the organisation is due to purchase a ship design company in Poland to increase engineering capacity.

Georg outlines his vision for the future: “We aim to achieve steady year-on-year growth, maintaining the customers we have, while at the same time tracking down new business and markets for expansion. We have a long history of excellence and as a family owned entity, try to build on what we already have brick-by-brick. While the market has its challenges, we are positive that we have a platform for progression and will maintain our position as one of the most active shipyards in the industry.”

Family owned and run

Recently delivered project ahead of schedule

Investing 60 million NOK in increased quay capacity