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    Midnight Express conversion delayed by shipyard selection process

    Vessel & ROV News // November 22, 2002
    Torch Offshore in the US says the process of selecting a shipyard for the conversion of the Midnight Express has been delayed, but remains a major priority of the company.

    "Negotiations with a few select shipyards are in their final stages and discussions with financial institutions for the financing of the vessel have commenced," said the company.

    "We expect to announce a final decision concerning the selection of the shipyard once all of the negotiations have been completed. The announcement of the financing arrangement should follow shortly thereafter," said Torch Offshore.

    On conversion, the Midnight Express will be a 520ft multipurpose DP-2 vessel capable of subsea development and working in various water depths, including the deepwater arena. The vessel should be ready for work in the fourth quarter of 2003 or early partof 2004.

    "We have been extremely careful in the shipyard selection process for the Midnight Express to ensure that the company is selecting the right shipyard for this conversion job. We have spent countless hours discussing various aspects of the contracts internally, and with shipyard officials, government officials and lenders as there are various aspects of the conversion and financing plans that must be considered," said Torch.

    "This delay in the shipyard selection process should only delay us to the fourth quarter of 2003 or early part of 2004 for delivery of the vessel. We are excited about the conversion process and the outlook of the deepwater market for the Midnight Express at that time," said the company.

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