Excellent results were also achieved on the ongoing major projects in the offshore wind turbines and industrial construction niche markets. For instance, the heavy lift vessel Svanen was extremely well utilized in 2012 on three offshore wind turbine projects in Denmark and the United Kingdom, and the Nuon Magnum multifuel power plant project will be completed in the first half of 2013.
The regional companies incurred losses in 2012. A previous capacity reduction of 20% in late 2011 was followed in 2012 by a further 50% adjustment. This means that in the space of one-and-a-half years the workforce has contracted from over 500 to around 200. This adjustment is many times larger than the fall in volume in the market. It is therefore a strategic choice to abandon the regional procurement market for smaller traditional contracts, and to focus instead on the larger, more integrated projects. Accordingly there will be less exposure to this loss-making market.
Infrastructure was awarded no PPP projects in 2012. We came second in the tender for the A1-A6 link PPP project, and after the parties had submitted their final bids for the complete two-line tram system in the city of Groningen, the client abandoned this PPP project.
Ballast Nedam operates on the alternative fuels niche market through investment in fuel filling stations and their implementation, management, commercial operation and maintenance. CNG Net and LNG24 invest in green gas public filling station networks for the private market, and LNG (liquefied natural gas) filling stations for the transport market. CNG Net produced a splendid, higher profit, and in December opened its fiftieth public filling station. CNG Net also manages seven custom filling sites for green gas customers, such as for the Connexxion public transport operator in the Arnhem Nijmegen metropolitan region. LNG24 has opened its first public LNG filling station in Zwolle, which serves many transport operators, whose vehicles now run cleaner and quieter on LNG.