February 15, 2019

From Qatar, where he is currently on board Bourbon Evolution 807, communication is difficult and conversation is choppy. Thierry Guillou, Offshore Construction Manager (OCM) with BOURBON since 2009, tells us straight off the bat: "I don't like talking about myself. But I don't mind talking about my job because it's exciting." Let's listen to him!

Thierry Guillou held several offshore positions, then did a little fishing, and as soon as possible came back to the offshore sector. "Being an OCM is like conducting an orchestra: you manage the operation and the crew, you go back and forth between the deck, the bridge, and the client, and you have to coordinate everything. The key to the job is communication. Without that, it isn't even worth thinking about a construction project." He also ensures that all operations are carried out according to the procedures, never deviating from the company's safety standards. So, is diplomacy the main quality required for the job? He bursts into laughter: "that's not exactly what people usually say about me! My aim is to federate everybody around the procedure because we have no choice. So, we have to communicate."

The relationship between the OCM and the master of the vessel is very strong. At the daily morning meeting, they fix the day's work with the rest of the team and the client, consider the different tasks and all the safety aspects, as well as what is feasible or not depending on wind and sea conditions.We always tell the client: 'the plan is to have a plan before you need a plan!' You always have to have solutions to propose before refusing what the client proposes. That's the challenge!" But with vessels like the Bourbon Evolution series, everything seems possible to him. "The deck area is huge, the cranes and ROV are well positioned and the vessels are comfortable: you can do everything with them!"

Thierry Guillou has participated in a number of very different missions, including the installation of a floating wind turbine in Scotland in 2018. He will reconduct this type of mission next summer in Portugal, for three turbines this time. The Kincardine operation was a success: the BOURBON crews anchored and connected the turbine in 4 weeks.




"I think that today we are the best in Europe for the installation of floating wind turbines."
thierry guillouOffshore construction manager


Thierry Guillou is happy to take part in missions devoted to floating wind turbines because everything is still at the prototype and experimental stage. Everything remains to be invented. He was also among the crew that laid a power cable for the tidal turbine in the Fromveur, "with unbelievable conditions of current!" When he lists the operations he has carried out with BOURBON, he admits that nothing is ever the same, that new solutions must be invented every time. "I need challenges, and there are plenty of them here," he concludes.

Bourbon behind the scenes