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    Hornbeck Offshore expands MPSV programme

    Vessel & ROV News // May 9, 2007

    Hornbeck Offshore Services in the US has announced that it has expanded its multi-purpose supply vessel (MPSV) programme to include a 430ft new generation DP-3 MPSV to be constructed at a European shipyard with an anticipated third quarter 2009 delivery.

    This 8,000 deadweight ton vessel will be equipped with two cranes, a helideck, a moon pool and accommodation for 100 people. The primary crane will have lifting capacity of up to 400 tons in up to 10,000ft of water depth and the secondary crane will provide significant additional lifting capacity.

    The MPSV will be capable of operating globally. However, the company plans to deploy the vessel in its primary operating market, the deepwater and ultra-deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

    While this foreign-built vessel cannot qualify for Jones Act trade, the company still intends to US-flag the vessel, which offers certain strategic benefits to the company and its customers.

    The new DP-3 vessel to be constructed will be included in the company's MPSV program, which currently consists of two US-flagged coastwise sulphur tankers that are being converted into 370ft new generation DP-2 MPSVs.

    Based on current internal estimates, the aggregate total project budget for these three vessels, before construction period interest, is now expected to be in the US$250.0 million to US$270.0 million range, depending on final vessel configurations.

    The company plans to fund the incremental cost of this DP-3 newbuild MPSV from current cash on-hand and projected free cash flow.

    Hornbeck Offshore also has an exclusive four-year option to construct two additional sister vessels based on the same DP-3 MPSV design at a US shipyard of its choice, which would qualify for domestic coastwise trade under the Jones Act.

    The new vessels are designed to handle a variety of deepwater and ultra-deepwater roles. They will be excellent platforms to support subsea construction, inspection, repair and maintenance, well intervention, decommissioning projects and flotel services, as well as pipeline and subsea wellhead installations with ROVs, saturation diving systems and flexible umbilical and flexible pipe laying capabilities.

    Carl Annessa, the Company's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, said: "Rather than developing a proprietary in-house MPSV design from scratch, we were able to identify a highly reputable shipyard in Holland with an existing DP-3 design, which we have adapted to meet our objectives. More importantly, however, we secured a calendar 2009 delivery, which we believe is one of the earliest available delivery slots for a DP-3 vessel of this size and capability in the worldwide shipyard community. Merwede Shipyard has an outstanding track record of constructing its own proprietary vessel designs on-time and on-budget."


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