Over the summer, Bibby Maritime have had several enquiries bubbling under from all over the world for their fleet of accommodation barges. Closer to home, we’ve seen lots of interest arise from Northern Europe and Scandinavia in the recent months and further afield we’ve seen strong enquiries come in for Bibby Progress and Bibby Renaissance, both of which have spent their time berthed in Keppel Gul Shipyard in Singapore.
Bibby Stockholm was the first in the flurry of charters and went to work with World Marine Offshore at the beginning of June to serve the Markbygden wind farm workers in Pitea, Northern Sweden. Since the barge has gone on charter, she has had more guests on board than was initially expected for this stage of the charter with guests receiving her pleasantly. Stockholm will remain in Sweden until late 2019 with options into 2020 should World Marine trigger them.
The start of the summer seen Aibel’s requirements reduce and the Bibby Bergen became the more suitable barge to meet their accommodation needs offering 180 bedrooms, a step down from the 337 rooms offered on Bibby Challenge which was on charter to them previously. This allowed us to swap the barges round and make the Challenge available for some of the strong enquiries we were pursuing elsewhere in Europe while keeping the Bergen working for a good client until the end of 2018 at least, again option periods could extend this through to 2019.
Away from Europe, barges Bibby Renaissance and Bibby Progress had attracted strong interest from a large Cruise Line over the end of the summer who had refit works upcoming for one of their cruise ships in Sembawang Shipyard, Singapore, not too far from where both barges were berthed in Keppel Gul Shipyard. An agreement was reached in September for both barges to go on hire for a period of 15 days firm with 4 x 1 day options available to the customer. While being a shorter term charter than we have been used to it was a commendable achievement by the team to get both barges working again and at good rates.
The charters didn’t stop there as whilst the commercial team were in Singapore overlooking the preparations being made for the upcoming charter for Renaissance and Progress, an enquiry from Europe for the Bibby Challenge heated up and began to move quickly. Meyer Werft, the well-renowned German shipbuilder, were keen to take Bibby Challenge on a short term charter from 15th October for a couple of weeks with options unitl 14th November in Delfzijl, Netherlands. Again this was a shorter term job than usual but was a good opportunity for the barge to get to work as the commercial team progress and develop more promising enquiries due to start in the latter months of the year and the beginning of 2019.
The above will see all five of Bibby Maritime’s assets working for a period in October and November, with several strong enquiries waiting on their availability when their current charters conclude. Commenting on the array of charters and able to spare some time from putting pen to paper on contracts Jon Osborne, Managing Director said “It is great to see all of our vessels working after a tough couple of years. The challenge is to convert some of our long term opportunities into contracts ”.