November 28, 2002

Groupe Bourbon backs $125 million Rigdon PSV program
France's Groupe Bourbon announced yesterday that it had concluded an agreement under which it will finance a newbuilding order placed at Bender Shipbuilding and Repair by Rigdon Marine. Groupe Bourbon is the parent of French offshore operator SURF. Rigdon Marine was established this year by 54 year old former Tidewater VP Larry Rigdon.

The newbuildings involved are a $125 million series of 10 deepwater Platform Support Vessels designed by Groupe Bourbon and Guido Perla and Associates. Deliveries are slated to start in the first quarter of 2004 and extend to the third quarter of 2005.

The agreement announced yesterday sees the boats being offered on the U.S. market by Rigdon Marine and marketed internationally by Groupe Bourbon.

[Foreign investment in Jones Act tonnage is among the items on the agenda at our Shipbuilding Decisions conference in Washington, DC, December 10 & 11, 2002.]

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