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Navy exercises option to buy OPDS vessels from Chouest

Written by Nick Blenkey

MSC photographAUGUST 20, 2012 — The Navy has awarded Edison Chouest Offshore’s Offshore Service Vessels, L.L.C., Galliano, LA, $47,420,000 to exercise an option under a previously awarded Navy contract (N00033-05-C-3300) to purchase the vessels and flexible piping equipment that comprise the Offshore Petroleum Distribution System (OPDS).

The OPDS has been under long-term charter to Military Sealift Command and has the capability to operate as an at-sea pumping station, quickly and efficiently delivering fuel to soldiers and Marines operating ashore where port facilities are inadequate or non-existent.   

The vessels include a U.S.-flagged self-sustaining vessel, MV VADM K.R.  Wheeler and one tender vessel, MV Fast Tempo.

Built by Chouest, and delivered in 2007, the nearly 349-foot-long, 70-foot-wide Wheeler carries eight miles of flexible pipe, which is wrapped around five, 35-foot-tall spools mounted on the ship’s weather deck. The specially designed pipe is eight inches in diameter and comprises nine layers of protective materials.  

The OPDS ships transfer to U.S. government ownership on Aug. 20, 2012, and will continue to operate worldwide.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the fiscal year.  The U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00033-05-C-3300).

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