VPS plans to grow

VPS plans to grow



Article courtesy of Bunkerworld

DNV Petroleum Services (DNVPS) has become Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) after completing the legal separation from its former parent company, enabling it to focus on a new stage of growth under its new owner, the private equity firm IK Investment Partners (IK).

As previously reported on Bunkerworld, DNVPS was set up in 1981 as part of the global classification society Det Norske Veritas (DNV), but it was not part of the merger between DNV and another global classification society, Germanischer Lloyd (GL) in 2013.

Chief executive officer (CEO) of VPS, Eirik Andreassen, told Bunkerworld last year that it would not be able to keep the DNV brand in the long run. The new name maintains a strong link to the company’s past, he told Bunkerworld in connection with the change.

Since IK bought DNVPS from DNV, the focus has been on managing the transition to a company that will exist independently of its former parent, or a separation phase. This has led to a few changes, with more underway. For example, the headquarters (HQ) of VPS has shifted from Singapore to Rotterdam. Andreassen, along with a handful of strategic managers, is now working out of the new HQ.

One reason for the HQ move is that IK is an investor in European companies, Andreassen explained. He said it is also a better time zone for managing a company with activities across the globe, including its fuel testing centres in Singapore, Fujairah, Rotterdam and Houston.

Andreassen previously told Bunkerworld that the synergies with DNV would not be lost despite the separate ownerships, and that customers would get at least the same quality of service that they have been used to. He reiterated that message now, saying VPS would still be collaborating with DNV on the ‘Fuel Insight’ data analytic tool that allows subscribers to compare suppliers’ typical performance on a range of benchmarks, and on analysis of engine performance. He said collaboration in these two areas have been formalised and that they had signed letters of intent in other areas of future cooperations.

As the separation process ends, VPS will begin to focus on growth areas, both through expansion of services and market share and through acquisitions, Andreassen said.

He said the strategy was to build on the platform of quality and integrity it had established during its years as part of DNV. He did not see the separation from the classification society as a major problem because the correlation between the client bases of DNV overall and DNVPS was not that big, with perhaps 25% to 30% overlap.

Geographically, Andreassen highlighted South America, in particular Brazil, and China as growth areas for its fuel quality and quantity services. In China, the company has quantity surveyors although quality testing is carried out in Singapore. Hong Kong was another growing market for its services, he suggested.

Besides its quantity surveys, VPS may look to expand existing services in the maritime sector to new customers.

For testing services, the company has already begun a programme for monitoring the quality of potable water on ships.

Future plans could include quality testing in new areas such as biofuels and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Surveys is another area of expansion, and VPS is already offering more in-depth investigative surveys of vessels to thoroughly check exactly how much fuel is onboard.

Andreassen was not too worried about the impact on its quantity surveyor business in Singapore and elsewhere with the introduction of mass flow metering to measure delivered quantity, although he did think it would change the role of quantity surveyors.

“We are adapting to the new times,” he said

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