Vard wins $53m deal from Havfisk

Singapore-listed shipbuilder Vard Holdings has forged ahead with its strategy of diversifying into new business areas, given the oil and gas industry slump.

The firm has just won a new contract worth about 325 million Norwegian kroner (S$53 million) to design and build a fishing trawler for a Norwegian client.

The vessel will have two separate cargo holds for refrigerated and frozen fish, a fish factory and a freezing capacity of 80 tonnes per 24 hours.

Delivery to the client Havfisk is scheduled in the first quarter of next year.

Vard executive vice-president Holger Dilling said in November that the firm was planning a "comprehensive strategy overhaul" to reduce dependency on the cyclical oil and gas business.

Potential areas for growth include building niche vessels for the fisheries and aquaculture sector, as well as ice-breakers and research vessels, he said, adding that offshore support vessels will stay as its core business.

His comments came as the firm reported in November that net losses for the third quarter to Sept 30 deepened to 486 million kroner, far worse than the net loss of 37 million kroner in the same period a year earlier.

Vard also made a net loss of 34 million kroner for the first half of last year, reversing from a profit of 232 million kroner in 2014. It previously developed three fishing vessels for Havfisk, Norway's largest trawler company, with a fleet of 10 vessels.

Havfisk is listed on the Norwegian stock exchange.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2016, with the headline 'Vard wins $53m deal from Havfisk'. Print Edition | Subscribe