Marine business 'cyclical, firms must prepare for recovery'

Rigs at Keppel Offshore and Marine.
Rigs at Keppel Offshore and Marine.PHOTO: ST FILE

The Association of Singapore Marine Industries (Asmi) believes the long-term fundamentals of the industry remain intact and expects oil prices to "eventually reach a sustainable equilibrium, driven by continued global demand for energy".

"We are in a cyclical business," said Asmi president Chow Yew Yuen, who is chief executive of Keppel Offshore and Marine. "Many of our companies have witnessed a few cycles before and they understand what needs to be done to tide through the current situation."

Both market leaders and small and medium-sized enterprises have been affected to varying degrees. They have responded in different ways, such as by retrenching staff, freezing recruitment, streamlining operations or cutting back on non-critical activities.

A key concern for Asmi is the possible loss of trained and skilled manpower if companies are unable to retain them due to the lack of new projects, Mr Chow said. "It is important for companies to retain their core capabilities so that they would be prepared to take on new orders when the market recovers."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2016, with the headline 'Marine business 'cyclical, firms must prepare for recovery''. Print Edition | Subscribe