Offshore Wind Power - Opportunity and strategy for a small engineering consultants firm

Typ
Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
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Publicerad
2010
Författare
Jobson Sellström, Carin
Nilsson, Göran
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Sammanfattning
GVA is a small engineering consultancy firm, with specialized focus in design of floating structures such as oil production platforms. The key business is at the oil and gas market, but the firm also have some projects at other markets. One of these is the offshore wind industry, which is a growing market with great potential in the near future. GVA has some experience in offshore wind and see greater potential in the industry to diversify their business. The purpose of this master thesis is to analyse the potential for GVA in the offshore wind market by looking at industry drivers, the underlying market development, as well as the industry structure. By matching the market characteristics with GVA resources and capabilities strategies for entering the market can be derived. The focus is narrowed down to three specific segments of the offshore wind market, where GVA has suitable competence and that can be entered with limited investments. Within the segments, substations, fixed foundations, and floating foundations, GVA can utilize existing in-house knowledge and hence carry out projects at lower risk. The analysis confirm the potential in the industry, but also the challenges which needs to be overcome in order for the offshore wind market to experience rapid growth. GVA’s main advantages are within the substation segment, because of the largest design scope, their former experience, existing customer relationship and possibility to enlarge the product offering. However, the analysis also shows a great future potential for GVA in floating foundations. The floating foundations segment is still in an emergent stage without dominant design and large commitment would be required to enter at this early point. Competition within fixed foundations is fierce and economies of scale are getting increasingly important. Therefore, this segment is not considered as attractive to GVA. Overall, GVA’s strengths lie in their offshore competence and experience in the oil and gas industry combined with the design expertise. On the contrary, the technical knowledge needed in offshore wind is not as advanced as in GVA’s other projects. Also, GVA is currently dependent upon one customer in offshore wind and their lower willingness to accept risks can block further development in the market. The analysis also shows that offshore wind customers value customer intimacy and operational excellence higher, in contradiction from oil and gas clients who value product leadership as the most important. This implies a need to adjust current strategies to satisfy customers in offshore wind better. The recommendations suggest focusing on customer intimacy as a differentiator at the market, but also to take a more active role in industry development and to seek new customers. By focusing on being an offshore advisor and increasing the product offering with partners this can be achieved. However, the most important recommendation for GVA is to clearly define their goal and wanted position in order to guide in decisions and to support activities performed.
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Miljöteknik, Environmental engineering
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