US owner announces offshore fleet expansion
Already one of the largest operators of shore vessels in the world, US company Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) has announced a major fleet expansion plan, writes Dag Pike.
The company’s current fleet extends to over 250 vessels and the latest round of new buildings planned will add at least a further 40 ships, including at least 17 of a new PSV design.
ECO plans to build most of these at its own affiliated US yards, North American Shipbuilding, LaShip, Gulf Ship and Tampa Ship. Brazilian shipyard, Navaship, will participate in the construction work, and a batch of five PSVs will be built at Rementowa in Poland. The majority will comprise new-generation 95m (312ft), 6,000dwt PSVs with a hull form designed to maximise capacity while at the same time reducing the hydrodynamic resistance so as to improve the fuel economy. ECO claims that this new design will offer a cargo delivered to fuel used ratio that will be significantly better than any other PSVs operating in the Gulf of Mexico. The ships will use a diesel-electric propulsion system, and have onboard accommodation for 51 personnel.
In the European market Edison Chouest has contracted five 92.7m long PSVs from the Remontowa shipyard in Gdansk. These are a lengthened version of Remontowa’s own 86.3m design, which features diesel electric propulsion with Caterpillar diesels.
ECO’s executive vice president Dino Chouest commented: “ECO owns and operates the largest fleet of new generation, high deadweight capacity of PSVs in the global offshore industry. The new series of 312ft long PSVs under construction presents an evolution of ECO’s proprietary hull designs.”
In addition to the 17 vessels currently on order there are options for a further 20 vessels to this same design. Further ECO newbuilds that include four subsea construction vessels with 400t cranes for operations in the Gulf of Mexico and two ice-class anchor handlers for Arctic operations. For the Brazilian market there will be five 92m PSV’s and two 26,000 hp anchor handlers with a hybrid propulsion system.
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