OCTOBER 31, 2013 — The options for two PSVs just declared by Vroon Offshore at the COSCO (Guangdong) shipyard in China (see earlier story) push the total number of offshore ship designs sold by Ulstein past the 100 mark. The milestone has been achieved in just 14 years, with 74 of the contracts signed for the company's trailblazing X‚ÄìBow design, launched in 2005.
More vessels have been ordered at shipyards worldwide than at Ulstein's own Ulstein Verft on the west coast of Norway. In all, 25 different shipowners have ordered Ulstein designs, with 16 different shipyards building the vessels; 38 have been ordered at Ulstein Verft and 62 have been ordered elsewhere.
Tore Ulstein, Deputy CEO of Ulstein Group, believes the firm's current success, and future promise, is grounded in an industry heritage rich in hands-on experience and technical expertise.
"Ulstein has close to 100 years of experience in shipbuilding," he comments. "We also have ownership interests in, and shipping expertise from, vessels delivered from Ulstein Verft. In many ways having our own yard has been the foundation for our design success. This is where the prototypes often have been constructed, allowing us to bring in customers and show them how our concepts are transformed from drawings into unique, innovative vessels."
Although Ulstein's latest designs were introduced in 1999, the company has a history of developing ship designs that stretches back to the beginning of the 70s (its UT-designs, later sold out of the group, made an early impression).
Tore Ulstein says that the head office's Norwegian location pays real dividends for the business.
"Norway has a population of only five million people, but it has the second largest offshore fleet in the world," he says. "The Norwegian maritime cluster is renowned for the way its companies are able to collaborate closely in the innovation processes, while the geographical distance between players is small. The naval architects, product developers and ship designers in Ulstein cooperate with, for example, shipowners, suppliers, classification societies and state authorities in order to develop and improve our designs. Together we are all focusing increasingly on comfort, health, safety and the environment. The result of this is new and improved solutions that deliver real benefits to the market."
All of the 100 offshore designs have been developed by Ulstein's design company in Ulsteinvik. The team's specialities include design concepts for vessels in seismic, offshore construction, IMR and standby/rescue work, as well as PSVs and anchor-handling vessels. In addition, Ulstein's design company in the Netherlands has developed close to 20 vessels for heavy offshore operations.