2020 has been a year I would like to forget. The marine industry had not recovered from the effects of the 2014 oil price shock when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and created difficulties for many. At ICE, we have had periods of work-from-home and 4-day work weeks. In spite of ongoing preventive efforts, 17 ICE employees have been infected during the year by the virus. Thankfully, all have fully recovered.
Several of our customers have had to suspend activities, lay off employees and cancel or delay projects. Not knowing how long the industry slow-down will last, we have likewise been forced to reduce ICE’s capacity to what is needed for ongoing contracts and for continuing to develop new business. Unfortunately, that has involved laying-off many valued employees, and cutting back on costs. Travel restrictions have prevented us from meeting customers in person.
Our core capabilities are intact and ongoing work remains on schedule. We stand ready to quickly ramp up our activities as soon as suspended contracts are re-activated, and to take on new contracts. We are actively pursuing upcoming business opportunities, including in the booming offshore windfarm business, where we have an excellent track record.
With Corona virus vaccinations having already started in the UK, I hope the vaccines will quickly become available world-wide so that we will see an end to this damaging pandemic before we are too long into 2021.
I wish all our customers, employees, suppliers and other friends and associates all the best for the Holiday Season. I hope everyone will stay healthy, and that we will all enjoy a much better New Year.
Chairman & Chief Executive