Netherlands-based IHC Merwede and BAE Systems have entered a cooperation agreement to meet the demands of the offshore construction vessel market in the U.S. IHC Merwede will be responsible for the design and build of the vessels and its Houston office, IHC Merwede America Corp., will be responsible for sales and business development activities.
BAE Systems will provide the production facilities for IHC Merwede at its shipyards in Mobile, Alabama and Jacksonville, Florida. The yards were acquired by BAE Systems when it bought Atlantic Marine Holding Company a year ago.
The 432 acre Mobile shipyard offers direct access to and from the Gulf of Mexico and major shipping lanes.
The Jacksonville shipyard provides deepwater access to the Caribbean and Atlantic. It has a successful history of vessel repair, maintenance, overhaul, conversion and marine fabrication for domestic, international, commercial and government customers.
The vessels will be built in compliance with U.S. regulations for coastwise trade (Jones Act).
IHC Merwede President Govert Hamers says, "We are delighted to announce our agreement with BAE Systems. It highlights our commitment to our ongoing internationalization strategy and provides an excellent opportunity to cooperate with shipyards in a new market, therefore expanding our customer base. The outlook for the offshore industry in 2011 is positive. It is expected to pick up, which should lead to an increase in capital expenditure as customers need to invest in new equipment. Our agreement with BAE Systems will be one of the ways in which we hope to capitalize on this in the coming years."
"This partnership with a recognized global industry leader such as IHC Merwede is an extremely exciting and positive opportunity for both organizations," said Bill Clifford, President of BAE Systems Ship Repair. "By working together, each of us can provide knowledge and experience from our individual areas of expertise that will grow our respective businesses and allow us to provide quality products at competitive prices to our customers."
Director of BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards Alabama, Victor Rhoades, says, "IHC Merwede is a world class shipbuilder and our partnership will leverage the strengths of both organizations. This is exciting news not only for BAE Systems but also for the local economies in Mobile and Jacksonville as anticipated new construction contracts resulting from this teaming will create more jobs."
July 15, 2011