November 18, 2010
Polarcus orders two advanced seismic ships
Dubai-based, Oslo-listed seismic vessel operator Polarcus has ordered two new high-end 3D seismic ships.
Like the company's exisiting existing POLARCUS ASIMA and POLARCUS ALIMA, they will be constructed to the X-bowed ULSTEIN SX134 design, but with a higher ice class ("ICE 1A super"), increased propulsion and other innovative efficiency enhancing features. The vessels will be capable of towing up to 14 streamers with 100 m lateral separation between streamers. And while previous Polarcus vessels have been built at the Drydocks World, Dubai, shipyard these two will be built at Ulstein Verft AS in Norway.
"We have been able to take maximum advantage of the current availability of yard slots to execute shipbuilding contracts on highly favorable payment terms and to secure beneficial delivery times of the newbuilds," commented Polarcus CEO Rolf Ronningen. "We have furthermore taken the strategic decision to build these vessels in Norway to avail ourselves of significant and advantageous financing from the Norwegian Institution for Export Financing, Eksportfinans ASA".
Both vessels are set for deliver in the first half of 2012. Total estimated project capital expenditure (CAPEX) is $168 million per ship including seismic equipment.
The company says it has received a proposal from Eksportfinans ASA for long term financing for the two vessels of up to 80 percent of the total project capital expenditure at a fixed interest rate of 2.85 percent in addition to guarantee commission to the Norwegian Guarantee Institute for Export Credits (GIEK) and customary interest rate and fees to fronting commercial banks. The financing is repayable over 12 years in equal semi-annual installments. The Eksportfinans facility is subject to approval by GIEK.
Polarcus is launching an equity issue of $65 million through a private placement to partly finance the new vessels' total estimated project capital expenditure.
The announcement increases the size of the company's high-end 3D seismic fleet to seven vessels