MEO reels in orders, expands its fleet

MEO MPSVJULY 12, 2013 — Singapore based Miclyn Express Offshore Limited (MEO) reports that the MEO Rover, a 2,000 dwt platform supply vessel under construction at its Batam, Indonesia, shipyard has been awarded a three year charter with Seascape Surveys, a business unit of Mermaid Maritime Public Company Limited, for the provision of ROV and full subsea support services.

MEO Endeavour

MEO says that it was able to leverage off its in-house capabilities and Batam Shipyard to provide a vessel conversion solution that met the requirements of Seascape.

The conversion will include jumboisation of the vessel by 6 m, extension of the mezzanine deck and installation of a crane, two ROV generators, taut wire, a DP reference system, moon pool, air compressor and A-frame.

MEO will recognize standby charter revenue during the estimated three and a half month conversion period and the vessel will commence full operations with Seascape on or about December 1, 2013.

This is the second long-term charter between MEO and Seascape for an MEO subsea support vessel. Seascape is currently utilizing MEO's Endeavour, which underwent a similar conversiob in its Batam shipyard earlier this year (see story) and has already exercised an extension under the charter party to continue utilizing the  Endeavour through to March 2015 for its client base.

Mr. Peter Reichlmeier, Managing Director of the Seascape Group, added "we are pleased to charter a second vessel from MEO, as our company is expanding and our services growing due to our capabilities in IRM and subsea services. The confidence that our client base has in us in the form of new and exciting work opportunities, created the need to charter in a second ROV DP2 support vessel, and in turn, our confidence in MEO resulted in our signing with them for another three year vessel charter."

MEO CEO Diederik de Boer said "we are delighted to expand our partnership with Seascape, a growing force in the region's subsea sector. We look forward to executing this project with them and continuing to service their needs going forward."

MEO has also won three long term crew/utility vessel contracts in Malaysia. Express 66 was awarded a 3.5 + 1 year contract, whilst MEO's most recent deliveries, Express 75 and 76, have been awarded 1+1 year contracts.

The total aggregate value of the firm period of the MEO Rover contract and the three crew/utility vessel contracts is approximately US $29 million.

Additionally, MEO says it has exercised options held for the purchase of two additional 90 t bollard pull AHTS. These vessels are the same design as  two vessels previously ordered by MEO's Thailand joint venture, Uniwise Offshore. The vessels will be constructed over an 18 month period in Chinese shipyard Wuchang Shipbuilding Co. Ltd on attractive payment terms. They are designed to support larger jack-up rigs and construction barges that are entering MEO's core markets.

MEO has also entered into an agreement with a Singapore shipyard for the construction of six new crew/utility vessels, with an option to acquire an additional four. The first two vessels will be delivered in December 2013, followed by delivery of a vessel in both April and July 2014, with the final two scheduled for delivery in December 2014. The Company has also secured preferential pricing with an option to acquire four more vessels in 2015. In line with its fleet renewal strategy, MEO has entered into an agreement to sell one of its older Crew/Utility Vessels, Express 20, to an Italian counterparty for a disposal gain.

Mr. de Boer said "these vessel purchase agreements represent the continued execution of our fleet strategy, namely growing our OSV fleet in areas of the market where we see demand and renewal of our crew/utility vessel fleet to maintain our high utilization levels and market leading position in South-East Asia and the Middle East."

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