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January 24 2006

Edison Chouest announces more newbuildings

Galliano, La.-based Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) today announced plans to construct several new anchor handling towing supply vessels (AHTS) at its North American Shipbuilding (NAS) facility in Larose, La.

Additionally, the company is announcing plans to expand upon its highly successful 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 ship's 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 first and third quarters 2007.

This new proprietary hull design, 16,000 HP class, 280-ft, DP2, 200 MT bollard pull, new generation anchor handler offers increased capacities for both deck and below-deck cargoes, with a deadweight tonnage of 4,236 LT.

The ship will be equipped with a 500 MT three-drum winch, providing total wire capacity for 27,034 feet of 4.25-inch wire, with secondary winches with a total capacity of 33,160 feet of five-inch diameter synthetic rope.

Chain lockers will accommodate 18,700 feet of 3 3/4-inch chain.

Deck equipment includes dual tow pins, shark jaws and stern rollers.

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

The vessel will feature a deadweight tonnage of 5,111 LT and is equipped with a 600 MT four-drum winch, providing total wire capacity for 43,960 feet of five-inch wire and secondary winches with a total capacity of 107,020 feet of five-inch diameter synthetic rope.

Chain lockers will accommodate 38,704 feet of 3 3/4-inch 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 ECO President Gary Chouest.

To date ECO has delivered eight 280-ft. platform supply vessels, all currently working in the Gulf of Mexico. The company is now releasing plans to construct an additional ten vessels, all slated for delivery within the next 24 months. The ninth 280-ft. PSV, the DANTE, was recently completed at NAS and is slated for delivery soon, to be closely followed by the ALLIE CHOUEST, currently being completed at ECO affiliate North American Fabricators in Houma, LA, and scheduled for a March 2006 delivery.

ECO says the 280-ft series has revolutionized the supply vessel industry in the Gulf of Mexico, featuring a deadweight of 4,800 tons, as well as dedicated below deck tankage for 15,415 barrels of liquid mud. The vessels provide a clear deck area of 10,251 sq. ft. (203 ft x 50.5 ft), with a capacity of 2,700 LT.

In recent months ECO has taken delivery of two new 160-ft fast supply vessels, designed and built by Breaux Brothers in Loreauville, LA.

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 that has proven to be an industry leading design that is American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) classed and USCG certified subchapter L, meeting all SOLAS/MARPOL requirements.

The vessels will be built at Bollinger's Lockport, La. facility, with deliveries scheduled for the first and second quarters 2007

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