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    Chouest continues with newbuilding programme

    Vessel & ROV News // September 17, 2004
    Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) in the US has announced plans to continue its newbuilding programme. Having already designed, built, owned and operated almost 70 new generation offshore vessels servicing the deepwater oil and gas industry over the past decade, the company plans to build 11 new vessels, with options for an additional 14.

    The vessels in question include: three additional 280ft deepwater supply vessels, with an option for another 10; four 160ft fast supply vessels, with an option for another four; three Norwegian-designed and built platform supply vessels; and a 348ft survey support ship. The supply vessels and survey support ship are being constructed at ECO's shipbuilding facilities in Larose and Houma, Louisiana; the fast supply vessels are designed and built at Breaux Brothers Enterprises in Loreauville, Louisiana.

    The reasons for the aggressive newbuilding programme are quite simple, according to ECO President Gary Chouest. "We are continuing to honor our commitment to build the types of vessels our customers are requesting," said Chouest. "These new vessels continue to raise the industry bar in terms of efficiency and capabilities."

    ECO's shipyards have already delivered the first four in the series of 280ft deepwater supply vessels, all currently working in the Gulf of Mexico. The fifth in the series, Kobe Chouest, is scheduled for a September 2004 delivery. Three additional vessels in the series have been committed to by Chouest, the first to be delivered in March 2005 and the others by year's end.

    The 280ft series has a deadweight of 4,962 LT, as well as dedicated below deck tankage for 15,644 barrels of liquid mud and 1,826 barrels of methanol.The 160ft fast supply vessels will join a fleet of 11 others currently operating for ECO domestically and internationally. The scheduled delivery dates for the four newbuilds are in March, July, September and December 2005.

    The three Norwegian platform supply vessels will join a recently delivered subsea support vessel operating for Island Offshore Shipholding LP, a joint venture between ECO and a prominent Norwegian partner. The Island Frontier, built in Norway by Soviknes Verft AS using a Rolls Royce UT 737-L design, measures 348ft x 78ft x 28ft.

    Island Frontier is capable of handling subsea installation and module operations, ROV operations, well intervention services, diving support, trenching, offshore pipe and cable laying, as well as transportation and loading of pipes, equipment and cargo."It is a remarkable vessel for us," said Roger White, ECO's Senior Vice President. "It is our first vessel rated as DP-3 and can work anywhere in the world."

    The three additional Norwegian PSVs will also feature Ulstein designs - a P105 (283 ft), a 745E (298 ft) and a 755L (236 ft). All three are currently in various stages of construction in Norway.

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