Chouest adds eight Jones Act PSVs to newbuild program

chouestyardSEPTEMBER 6, 2012 — The Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) family of companies has added to the aggressive newbuild campaign it first announced one year ago. ECO, which currently has 25 vessels under construction at shipyards worldwide, announced an additional eight Jones Act-class deepwater offshore service vessels, with delivery to occur within the next 24 months.

ECO supports the majority of the U.S. Gulf deepwater operations and an expanding global market with its fleet of over 200 highly specialized new generation offshore service and supply vessels. Thus far in 2012, ECO has delivered 13 new vessels, both domestic and worldwide. Three of those in the 300 ft/5,150 DWT Jones Act class, the first in the previously announced newbuild class of 2011. The 2012 deliveries also include platform supply vessels (PSVs) in Brazil, two well stimulation vessels, fast supply boats, a Norwegian-built PSV, as well as Aiviq, the 360 ft ice class anchor handler currently at work in Alaska.

"Our goal remains to provide our customers with the most cost-effective solutions in the industry," said ECO Vice President of Operations Dino Chouest. .

Hulls 14-21 in the latest series of 300 ft class vessels are in the early stages of construction, with steel and equipment on order, according to ECO President Gary Chouest. Construction will occur at the four Chouest affiliate shipyards: North American Shipbuilding (Larose, La.), La Ship (Houma, La.), Gulf Ship (Gulfport, Miss,) and Tampa Ship (Tampa, Fla).

"At the same time, we are also increasing our international order book to replace Jones Act tonnage that departed the Gulf of Mexico two years ago, now slated to return," remarked Dino Chouest. That segment of vessels includes six boats under construction at Remontowa S.A. in Gdansk, Poland, as well as 11 vessels (9 PSVs, 2 anchor handlers) at Chouest affiliate shipyard Navship in Navegantes, Brazil.

ECO also has four 194 ft fast supply vessels currently under construction at Breaux Brothers Enterprises in Loreauville, La.

ECO says its new group of eight Jones Act newbuilds will be constructed on speculation. According to ECO Director of Corporate Communications Lonnie Thibodeaux, that means that although all eight are initially slated to be 300 ft x 60 ft x 24 ft PSVs, the details currently being quoted are initial design estimates.

"Keep in mind....our two most recently delivered well stimulation vessels also were originally slated to be 300 ft PSVs, too," says Mr. Thibodeaux. All details are subject to change based on customer demand.

So, the initial design estimates are that each PSV will have capacities approximately 13,646 barrels of liquid mud, over 400,000 gallons of fuel and 12,000 cubic feet of dry bulk.

All will be DP-2, ABS and Jones Act-classed, and approximately 5,100 deadweight tons.

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