JANUARY 18, 2018—In a savvy move that will see it expand its environmentally friendly fleet, publicly traded SEACOR Marine Holdings Inc., Houma, LA, announced the final formation of SEACOSCO Offshore LLC, a jointly owned Marshall Islands company with affiliates of Chinese shipowner COSCO Shipping Group.
SEACOSCO has contracted to buy eight Rolls-Royce-designed new construction platform supply vessels (PSVs) from the Chinese shipyard COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry (Guangdong) Co., Ltd. Six of the PSVs are of UT 771WP design (4,400 tons deadweight) and two are of UT 771CD design (3,800 tons deadweight).
SEACOSCO will take title to seven of the PSVs in 2018 and one in 2019. Thereafter, the shipyard, at its own cost, will store the PSVs at its facility for periods ranging from six to 18 months. The storage period can be shortened by mutual agreement.
Interestingly, in a separate move, SEACOSCO contracted with Rolls-Royce Marine AS to outfit six of the PSVs as potential hybrid propulsion vessels, with new battery energy storage systems designed to reduce fuel consumption and enhance the safety and redundancy of the vessels’ systems. This follows SEACOR Marine’s recent order for battery energy storage systems on four large PSVs in Mexico.
SEACOR Marine CEO John Gellert, says, “The acquired vessels will modernize our operating fleet and expand our offerings to our customers. Combining a proven and advanced design, best in category accommodations, and the innovative Rolls-Royce battery system, these vessels will be highly marketable across all major offshore energy regions worldwide.”
SEACOSCO will be funded 30% with equity and 70% with debt financing secured by the PSVs on a non-recourse basis to the equity owners. Aggregate total consideration for the eight PSVs, including the battery system, is approximately $161.1 million. SEACOR Marine’s total cash outlay is approximately $22.4 million, with approximately $20.0 million payable in the first quarter of 2018 and the balance due over the next 14 months as vessels and the Rolls Royce battery equipment are delivered.
SEACOR Marine will be responsible for full commercial, operational, and technical management of the vessels on a worldwide basis under a separate management agreement with SEACOSCO.