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    Chouest building new vessels and expanding port facilities

    News // July 10, 2013

    The Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) group of companies has announced plans to enlarge its already sizeable fleet and expand its terminal facilities in support of its customer base.

    “Reacting to customer demand, ECO continues to lead the industry by designing, building and operating new generation vessels featuring the latest available technology,” said ECO President Gary Chouest.  “We are a customer-centric company: our main goal is to support their activities with state-of-the-art vessels, expanded terminal facilities, subsea services, fully-integrated logistics, and shorebase support wherever necessary.”

    The Chouest newbuild orde book contains more than 40 vessels, the majority of which are to be constructed at its four US-affiliate shipyards: North American Shipbuilding (Larose, LA), LaShip (Houma, LA), Gulf Ship (Gulfport, MS) and Tampa Ship (Tampa, FL), as well as its Brazilian shipyard, Navship.

    The largest portion of the newbuild programme contains 17 vessels, with options for an additional 20, in a new class of 312ft x 66ft x 26ft new generation, clean design, diesel-electric platform supply vessels (PSVs). This class features a new hullform that was designed to maximize deadweight while significantly reducing hydrodynamic resistance, thereby improving fuel efficiency. 

    The result, says ECO, is a vessel that offers a deadweight tonnage in excess of 6,000 LT, the capacity for over 22,000 barrels of liquid mud, over 2,000 barrels of methanol, and 14,450 cubic feet of dry bulk. Carrying the new class designation NA312E CD VE (Very Efficient), the vessels offer a cargo delivered to fuel used ratio that is significantly better than other PSVs operating in the Gulf of Mexico, said ECO.

    The vessels provide accommodations for 51, as well as class notations for firefighting, dynamic positioning, unmanned engine room operation, special purpose ship safety, workboat habitability, and storage and discharge of recovered oil. The vessels also comply with the new International Labour Organization (ILO) standards for vessel design and crew standards.

    “ECO owns and operates the largest fleet of new generation, high deadweight capacity PSVs in the global offshore service vessel industry. The new series of 312ft PSVs under construction represents an evolution of ECO’s proven proprietary hull designs,” said ECO’s Executive Vice President Dino Chouest. "The 312ft class meets 100 per cent of ECO’s customers’ requirements for a high deadweight ton capacity, deepwater PSV that is extremely fuel efficient.”

    The Chouest newbuild programme also includes two new high ice class AHTS vessels for Arctic service, currently being designed. The vessels will mark the fifth and sixth icebreaking vessels in the ECO fleet, making Chouest the largest designer, builder, owner and operator of icebreaking vessels in the US industry.

    Additionally, Chouest will build four subsea construction vessels, slated for service in the Gulf of Mexico market.  Features include ROVs from Chouest affiliate C-Innovation, as well as a 400 tonne AHC deepwater crane.

    Additional newbuild highlights include:

    • one (1) 314’, 1.5 million-gallon refueling vessel
    • one (1) 318’ multi-purpose construction supply vessel (MPSV), with 150- metric ton motion compensated deck crane
    • one (1) 318’ diesel electric well stimulation vessel
    • five (5) 303’ diesel electric 5,150-metric ton deadweight Brazilian PSVs
    • two (2) 316’ 26,000 HP hybrid propulsion Brazilian-built AHTS with 300- metric ton bollard pull
    • five (5) 304’ clean design, 5,500-deadweight ton Polish-built PSVs
    • five (5) 201’ DP-2 fast supply vessels
    • two (2) 194’ DP-2 fast supply vessels.

    With regard to port and logistics operations, ECO said Chouest affiliate C-Port 3 is currently under construction and slated to feature an additional six covered slips to transfer cargo and provide support to deepwater offshore support vessels. The multi-service terminal is slated to be operational by March 2014. In addition, the design process has begun for C-Port 4 in Fourchon, which could contain as many as nine additional covered slips.

    The Chouest acquisition this year of the C-Terminal facility in Port Fourchon, featuring 2,000 linear feet of bulkheaded waterfront property, provided another innovative loading and storage solution for Chouest customers. The company has announced plans to expand the C-Terminal worksite, adding to its expansive outside storage area, warehouses, bulk, cement and barite plants, and fuel, water, mud and drilling fluid sales.

    Chouest port facilities in Fourchon are not the only terminal sites with expansion in mind. Chouest’s workable solutions to minimizing port turnaround time have now targeted Brazil. Design is well underway for a major port development to support the company’s vast vessel fleet in that country.




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