Chouest continues aggressive newbuilding campaign

Edison Chouest Offshore says it plans to construct several new anchor handling towing supply vessels at its North American Shipbuilding facility in Larose, Louisiana.

Offshore staff

(US) - Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) says it plans to construct several new anchor handling towing supply vessels (AHTS) at its North American Shipbuilding (NAS) facility in Larose, Louisiana.

Additionally, the company is announcing plans to expand upon its series of 280-ft platform supply vessels (PSV), as well as many new fast supply vessels. In a release one week ago, Bollinger Shipyards also announced the construction of two 245-ft liftboats for Chouest.

ECO has already ordered equipment for the first three AHTS vessels, and holds an option for another three vessels. The first two AHTS vessels are to be delivered during the 1Q 2007 and 3Q 2007. This new proprietary hull design, 16,000 HP class, 280-ft, DP2, 200-metric ton bollard pull, new generation anchor handler, offers increased capacities for both deck and below-deck cargoes, with a deadweight tonnage of 4,236 metric tons.

The ships will be equipped with a 500-metric ton, three-drum winch, providing total wire capacity for 27,034 ft of 4.25-in. wire, with secondary winches with a total capacity of 33,160 ft of five-in diameter synthetic rope. Chain lockers will accommodate 18,700 ft of 3 3/4-in. chain. Deck equipment includes dual tow pins, shark jaws and stern rollers.

The third new Chouest AHTS vessel to be delivered in 2Q 2008 is a 348-ft proprietary hull design, 16,000 HP class, DP2, 210-metric ton bollard pull, new generation anchor handler.

The vessel will feature a deadweight tonnage of 5,111 metric tons and is equipped with a 600-metric ton, four-drum winch, providing total wire capacity for 43,960 ft of five-in. wire and secondary winches with a total capacity of 107,020 ft of five-in. diameter synthetic rope. Chain lockers will accommodate 38,704 ft of 3 3/4-in. chain. Deck equipment includes dual tow pins, shark jaws and stern rollers.

"All three of the new anchor handling vessels have been designed to meet the challenges of increased requirements for installation and recovery of deepwater mooring systems," said Gary Chouest, president of ECO.

To date, ECO has delivered eight 280-ft platform supply vessels, all currently working in the GoM. The company is now releasing plans to construct an additional 10 vessels, all slated for delivery within the next 24 months. The ninth 280-ft. PSV, theDANTE, was recently completed at NAS and is slated for delivery soon.

Shortly thereafter, theALLIE CHOUEST, currently being completed at ECO affiliate North American Fabricators in Houma, Louisiana, will be delivered.

The 280-ft series has revolutionized the supply vessel industry in the GoM, according to Chouest. The 4,800-ton vessels feature below deck tankage for 15,415 bbl of liquid mud, and clear deck area of 10,251 sq ft

In recent months ECO has taken delivery of two new 160-ft fast supply vessels, designed and built by Breaux Brothers in Loreauville, Louisiana. ECO is also announcing the continuation of that newbuild relationship, with plans for an additional nine fast supply vessels over the next two years.

The two 245-ft liftboats are based on a Bollinger design, and are ABS classed and USCG certified subchapter L, meeting all SOLAS/MARPOL requirements. The vessels will be built at Bollinger's Lockport facility, with deliveries scheduled in the first half of 2007.

01/25/06

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