Ulstein P105 will be built in Netherlands by Merwede

August 10, 2004

Breakthrough order for Ulstein Design AS

Free from a five year restriction that followed the acquisition of the former Ulstein Group by Rolls-Royce, Norway's Ulstein Design AS has sold its first design outside of the Ulstein Group.

Norway's Solstad Offshore ASA has signed a Letter of Intent with Merwede Shipyard in the Netherlands for construction of an ULSTEIN P105 platform supply vessel. Merwede Shipyard has in turn signed a contract with reservations with Ulstein Design AS regarding the delivery of a design and equipment package worth a total of more than NOK 70 million (US$10.35 million).

"This is Ulstein Design's first contract outside the Ulstein Group and is very important for us," says Ulstein Design's President, Tore Ulstein.

The first ULSTEIN P105 platform supply vessel was built in 2003 and Ulstein Design has received good feedback on the design from customers. Earlier this year contracts were signed for two construction projects of the same design, as well as one option. In addition to this, Ulstein Design has now signed the contract with reservations regarding an ULSTEIN P105 that will be built at Merwede Shipyard for Solstad Offshore ASA.

Ulstein Design will deliver the designs, a complete set of supporting drawings and an equipment package to the shipyard.

"Among other things we are going to deliver the propulsion system, engines, cargo system and dynamic positioning system. In addition, through the Ulstein Group's electrical and control system company Ulstein Elektro, we will deliver all the marine electronics, switchboards, consoles and starters. We are experts in integrating total deliveries in which we know that the different systems communicate well. We look forward to the project and believe that Merwede Shipyard will be pleased with the work we do," says Ulstein Design's Vice President Market, Erik Andreassen.

"As Ulstein Design's first foreign contract," says Andreassen, this "gives us an opportunity to demonstrate that we can carry out a project in a high-quality manner outside of Norway."

Merwede Shipyard is a newbuilding and repair yard that has built several types of vessels, including dredges, ferries, tankers and cruise ships, but this is will be its first offshore vessel.

The steel will be produced in the Netherlands and the yard will commence work on the construction project in the autumn of 2004. The vessel is to be delivered in September 2005.

"We regard receiving tested construction support documentation as very positive," says the yard's managing director, T. Rietdijk. "The fact that the design has been tested earlier means we will receive the supporting documentation in good time and can plan the construction in the best possible manner."

Tore Ulstein notes that delivering designs and equipment to other yards, while at the same time building at its own yards, broadens the Ulstein Group's activity area.

"In this way," he says, "we will become a more important player by being active on several fronts, and this also helps in securing local jobs. Large capacities and flexibility are regarded as very positive attributes by customers."

In 1999 the former Ulstein Group was bought, and is currently owned by Rolls-Royce. However, the shipbuilding activities were not sold, but were continued in a new company, Ulstein Mekaniske Verksted Holding ASA (UMVH)--the new Ulstein Group.

Work on building up a new design department started immediately, and the department has now become the separate company Ulstein Design AS. Today the company employs around 20 people.

During the first five years after the takeover, Ulstein Design was subject to restrictions on the sale of its vessel designs to other yards. During this period, from 1999 to 2004, seven vessels of four different designs by Ulstein Design were built at the Ulstein Group's shipyard Ulstein Verft. The restrictions ceased to apply in February this year and Ulstein Design is now free to sell its vessel designs around the world.

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