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    Austal crew/supply boats lauded by owner

    Yard News // November 21, 2003
    Anapaula and Veronica, the first vessels delivered by Austal USA, have now completed nearly two years' work in the southern Gulf of Mexico.

    The two 45.8m (150ft) high-speed crew/supply boats have been operating in support of the Mexican offshore oil industry out of the port of Del Carmen since they were delivered, ahead of schedule, in January 2002.

    The boats are owned by Candies Mexican Investments, an affiliate of Otto Candies, LLC, a Louisiana-based marine transportation and offshore services company that specializes in regional and international support services for the oil exploration and exploitation industries.

    Comments made by Otto Candies III make it clear that, nearly three years after ordering its first Austal crew/supply boats, the company is pleased it did so.

    "The vessels are good value for money overall and Austal has proved to be a reliable, professional shipbuilder," he said. "Our experience on this contract was very positive. We appreciate the way in which the negotiation, construction and warranty follow-up on the vessels was handled."

    The sisterships have been working in the fleet of Oceanografia SA de CV, carrying personnel and cargo to and from offshore platforms operated by Petróleos Mexicanos. Government-owned PEMEX is Mexico's largest company and one of the world's largest producers of crude oil and natural gas.

    PEMEX's requirement is for vessels with a service speed of 25 knots, the durability to operate day-in, day-out, and the reliability to ensure that critical logistics support situations can be accomplished as quickly as possible.

    Capable of 30 knots, Anapaula and Veronica are effectively exceeding that requirement, operating an average of 17 hours a day, 365 days of the year and transporting about 150 people and 250 tonnes of cargo per day.

    Each vessel can carry up to 80 passengers and carry over 150 tonnes of cargo on the 139 square metre (1,500ft2) aft deck, while also having tanks for 37,900 litres of transferable fuel.

    Their crews rate the Austal-built aluminum monohulls very highly for not only their speed but also their versatility and report that monthly fuel consumption is around 3,800 litres per month less than similar vessels.

    Four Caterpillar 3508B diesels provide a total of 3130kW to quadruple Hamilton 571 waterjets. In addition to fuel efficiency, this propulsion arrangement contributes to excellent maneuvering, which is noted by the crews as another area in which the Austal product is preferred to competing designs.

    Summing up, Otto Candies III concluded: "I guess the best endorsement we could give Austal is that we would look to them again if we were in the market for this type of vessel."

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