Rolls-Royce: Upturn in Offshore Exploration & Production activity drives growth

Friday, 18 January 2019

The Rolls-Royce Service workshop in the Canary Islands is realising its full potential as the offshore Exploration & Production market finally begins to flourish again after a couple of challenging years.

The first half of 2018 saw a significant increase globally in thruster overhauls compared to the previous year, as rig owners continue to prepare for their next contracts.

Located within the Astican Shipyard, in the growing maritime cluster of Gran Canaria’s port of Las Palmas, the Rolls-Royce Service workshop is now benefiting from this upturn in Exploration & Production (E&P) activity.

"I believe the success of Las Palmas is down to three factors: Firstly, it`s the location. The physical spot on the map has been key to our succes, and that was a prominent fact when we originally decided to invest here."

Opened in 2015, the 2,100m2 facility is fully equipped to deal with the growing demand from offshore customers. In a unique partnership with Astican, the workshop has been optimised to carry out major service operations on all Rolls-Royce equipment, with a strong emphasis to support rig, drillship and offshore owners, as well as merchant, ropax, fishing vessels and the local ship-owning community.

The co-location in the yard has an added benefit for owners, in that it offers the combination of Rolls-Royce capability and specialist knowledge of products, together with the close proximity to the deep-water quay and the extensive repair and overhaul facilities of Astican.

“Las Palmas lies on the key transit routes between Northern Europe, West Coast Africa, South America and the Gulf of Mexico, so there is a lot of potential traffic. It’s at a crossroads of all the main Atlantic trading routes.

“The next attribute is what we and Astican can offer owners within the perimeter of the shipyard. The fact we’re fully integrated, and benefit from the deep-water harbour and waterfront location is ideal, especially for the larger rigs.

“We have a symbiotic relationship which means we can be flexible in handling our customers’ requirements. This year we’ve seen a real ramp-up in thruster exchange and overhaul. In addition, Rolls-Royce is approved to carry out work in Tenerife Port, giving flexibility across the Canary Islands.

“Finally, the burgeoning maritime capability beyond the fence of the yard is a key strength. Las Palmas has great infrastructure, an excellent supply chain and a highly skilled workforce, which are all essential for the type of work we do.

Increasing demand

“The Spanish Government is very supportive of developing maritime capability on the island, and there’s also a considerable number of maritime studies available at the local university. Together with the abundance of specialised talent available, it means that Las Palmas has a very competitive offering.”

With this collective commitment to secure Las Palmas’ place in global repair and overhaul capability, the future is looking bright.

The yard already has an impressive range of facilities with seven docking lines and a Syncrolift, and next to come is a multi-million Euro investment in a new graving dock, large enough to handle vessels up to 320m long. This follows a recent investment in a new quayside facility to handle the growing demand for UUC azimuth thruster overhauls.

Astican’s parent company also owns the Astander yard near Bilbao in Spain. Together with Rolls-Royce, it is considering repeating this model of success there to offer a fully integrated service to cater for the popularity of what Las Palmas can offer.


Nils-Reidar Valle

Service Center Manager, Rolls-Royce






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