Partners in offshore safetySeptember 21, 2021
Joseph Amuzu, CEO of Zodiac Marine Services, talks to The Energy Year about the company’s activities and plans for capacity expansion, as well as dynamics in the Ghanaian diving services sector. Zodiac Marine Services provides PPE supplies and vessel maintenance, diving, offshore catering, logistics and courier services.
Why is Ghana a better investment destination than other African countries?
The key factor is the stability that we enjoy in Ghana. We also have good economic numbers and indicators, as well as a high quality of local capacity. I’ve been to Liberia, Mozambique and Togo. Ghanaians are a bit more educated, internationally trained and qualified than the personnel available in neighbouring countries. And beyond all of that, there is the general welcoming environment.
What are the most important variables in the PPE business?
When it’s about PPE, it’s all about the quality and safety. When it comes to safety, pricing is not what you’re thinking about. You cannot have substandard products in the field of safety because you’re dealing with people’s lives. We pride ourselves on our quality, and a company like Eni will pay any amount of money for quality. We have managed to achieve consistent, quality services for Eni over the years.
How has Covid-19 impacted the sourcing of supplies for offshore operations?
We had some stock in place and we work with international partners who have built their own supply chains which we were included in. Then, as Covid began to fizzle and people started getting vaccinated, supply chains became more relaxed, and more efficient. We began sourcing again and got ready to restart.
On the catering services side, due to Covid-19 we are only providing the end supplies, either in packages or containers – mostly dry and ready provisions. We aren’t engaged in the manpower catering side. Once we’re confident that vaccinations have sufficiently penetrated into the Ghanaian sector, then we can return to doing physical catering services. Half of the partners that we’re working with now are not yet allowing people to come onboard their vessels because of Covid.
What are the diving sector’s dynamics and how are you planning to expand in diving services?
Most of the major players in Ghana’s diving sector are foreign-based and foreign-owned. We aim to build that capacity locally. We want to grow a lot in the diving sector.
We’ve done a lot of diving services. We’re building the necessary expertise and experience from servicing merchant vessels calling at Tema and Takoradi ports, in order to later go into offshore installation servicing.
When we get a contract, we partner with companies that provide divers with the necessary certification. We work with them, and we always have a transfer of knowledge from them to our local people.
What are Zodiac’s current contracts?
We’ve improved in our scope of activities and in our services. We did so well with our 2019 contract to supply Eni with PPE that they’ve given us an extension. They invited us to re-bid, and we won it again. We’re now waiting for the third contract. And from all indications, it looks like we are in a good position for winning their tender a third time.
How do you expect securing ISO certification will impact the business?
Our next step, getting ISO-9001 certification, will give us new opportunities and it will build the capacity of the staff. We will then attract more foreign, quality partners to the business.
Once we have the ISO, we will bid for the big catering contracts, and not only the low-hanging ones.
The ISO certification is a key aspect of our plans for providing services regionally, using it as a launchpad to go into places such as Angola and Mozambique. With such a certification, you’re not like the local players. You’re playing at a different tier.
How do you approach international partnerships and business relations?
We believe in long-term partnership. So, we’ve been working with our PPE partners for more than five years. We have partners that have all revamped their PPE styles.
We work with Latex, Portwest, Dupont, 3M, MSA, Dickies – brands that are constantly improving in their quality of services and their styles. As they improve, we also improve along with them. In terms of clients, we are working with Eni, Technip and Tullow, among others.
Where are the company’s activities focused?
Right now PPE makes up about 65% of our revenues. The catering accounts for another 20% and the rest is in the diving. We want to specialise in the areas of diving, PPE and offshore catering services in order to be as competitive as possible in these areas.
About Zodiac Marine Services
Zodiac Marine Services is an independent ship management services and delivery company, offering a comprehensive range of marine services to clients in Ghana and the region. Since 2010, the company has worked on offshore oil and gas projects calling at Takoradi Port, with an office in Tema, Accra. Its most active services are offshore catering, PPE supply and diving services. Zodiac Marine Services has won a PPE supply contract for Eni for two consecutive years.