As we approach the end of 2019 and are about to begin not just another year but another decade, we cannot but reflect on the last ten years – globally, for South Africa as a country, and also in the maritime sector. It has been quite the journey for AMSOL.
Over the past ten years, we have witnessed many changes in the industry, with an ever-increasing focus on Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ). We have also noted the wellbeing of seafarers working in our high-risk marine environment is an issue increasingly gaining more attention, as are modernised and updated regulations impacting on companies, increasing reliance on new technology, systems and innovation, and a greater focus on sustainability, particularly with the imminent introduction of the requirement for low Sulphur marine fuel globally. We have seen the rise of many new players in our sector – and our company also successfully navigated a Management Buy-Out in 2016; returning AMSOL to full South African ownership in which all AMSOL permanent employees have a share.
And while the past decade holds many positive highlights, I believe that we are all aware that the road behind those of us in the offshore and marine sectors has been far from smooth – with some challenges along the way that have caused business leaders to reassess their approach to creating value for the long term. In the past decade, we saw the offshore Oil & Gas sector undergo significant changes – with many key marine service role players changing their business models, being acquired or merging – or even closing their doors. As the Energy sector continues to diversify its product offering, with the rise of LNG and renewables certainly due to make a significant impact in the next decade, there are positive signs of renewed activity in the Oil & Gas sector on the continent.
Potential growth forecasted particularly in LNG production and associated marine transportation looks positive for the industry and our region, and our ability to be part of this anticipated growth curve relies on preparedness from skills, experience and capital perspective.
Where we find ourselves now is focused on ensuring that AMSOL remains ahead of the curve in all aspects of meeting and exceeding client requirements, ensuring business relevance into the future and driving a culture within the organization that supports safety of life across a mobile and multi-generational workforce. For those who enjoy managing through complexity – the decade ahead will provide many opportunities to do just that. The dire need for employment can only be addressed through economic growth – and we remain positive that prospects for an upswing in certain subsectors could see demand for the African seafarer increasing. We’re making progress in establishing strategic partnerships necessary to support growth, but there is plenty more to be done, and we will continue into 2020 and beyond to focus our efforts on expanding our business on the continent.
As we pause to reflect, we should also recognise the many positive milestones of the past ten years.
We remain proud of the long term partnerships we have sustained with key clients across the Mining, Maritime, Ports and Energy sectors; of the new vessels we have built in South Africa in support of local shipbuilding; of the role we play in supporting key industry organizations and associations; before the sustainable, stable growth we continue to achieve. In line with our company’s Vision to play a key role in the growth and transformation of the sector, AMSOL plays its part in improving the competitiveness of our country, meeting B-BBEE and localization requirements and, most of all, ensuring that we create and maintain an inclusive workplace.
The employees of AMSOL have faced considerable change throughout these past ten years. The demand on each individual to deliver more and meet increasingly stringent risk management requirements is significant. Together, we have learned much and we will continue into the new decade with the same determined resolution to maintain market leader status, to provide our clients with a world-class service and to support localisation and maritime goals and aspirations in all of our markets.
I want to thank all AMSOL stakeholders – clients, suppliers & service providers, partners and employees – for the open engagement, collaboration and preparedness to adapt during 2019. The New Year marks the start of a new decade and a new opportunity for us all to leave the sector in a better place when the clock ticks over to 2030 in 10 years’ time.
We know next year, and perhaps the new decade will offer different and familiar obstacles to overcome, many changes to adapt to and many business opportunities to realise.
At AMSOL, we are ready to rise to the challenges.
Chief Executive Officer