Aker transfers staff amid MMO slowdown

 Oslo 20101022. Fungerende konsernsjef Øyvind Eriksen I Aker Solutions under presentasjonen av 3 kvartals resultat 2010, fredag Foto: Berit Roald / Scanpix

Keeping options open: Aker chairman Oyvind Eriksen refused to rule out the possibility of redundancies if the MMO market does not improve

Norway’s Aker Solutions has set up a new subsea hub in Stevanger to offset the overcapacity of its maintenance, modification and operations (MMO) business.

Aker said it was transferring existing employees to the new subsea hub and using its Aker Advantage recruitment agency to find work for more than 200 employees affected by the slowdown in Norway’s MMO market.

"The offshore maintenance and modifications market in Norway has weakened considerably this year, causing overcapacity and weighing on earnings in the MMO segment,'' Aker’s head of MMO, Tore Sjursen, said.

''While the industry has seen lay-offs, we're seeking to find our employees alternative jobs within the company, the Aker group or in other firms operating on the shelf."

Howver, Aker chairman Oyvind Eriksen said the company could not rule out the possibility of redundancies if the market weakens or if the company is unable to find jobs for all the affected employees.

. "Maintaining the right balance between short-term capacity adjustments while preparing and positioning ourselves for the next wave of growth is a prerequisite for creating long-term shareholder value,” he added.

Aker said it had offered about 130 employees a transfer to Aker Advantage, which would endeavour to find them jobs inside or outside the group.

Aker Advantage recently signed a one-year framework agreement with Statoil to provide personnel with engineering and technical experience.

The agreement also carries an option for a one-year extension and comes into effect in August.

Aker said almost all of the MMO employees that were offered a transfer accepted the opportunity to move to Aker Advantage or the subsea hub.

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