North Star Shipping to build four safety standby vesselsVessel & ROV News // March 19, 2004
Its shipping division, North Star Shipping, has signed a contract with Astilleros Balenciaga SA of Spain to build four new stand-by emergency response and rescue vessels for the UKCS. Being built speculatively, this new tonnage demonstrates the company'scommitment to and confidence in the North Sea stand-by sector. North Star Shipping, currently operates a fleet of 26 vessels.
Douglas Craig, managing director of The Craig Group, said: "This investment underlines our commitment to the UKCS stand-by sector. We believe there are many new opportunities on which we aim to capitalise by providing the most effective, modern and costeffective services for customers operating in the North Sea."
The vessels are 48.25m long with an 11m beam and are designed by IMT of Montrose. The vessels will be fitted with all the latest rescue and response technology and feature a dedicated deck for the treatment and comfort of survivors rescued from the sea.
Callum Bruce, managing director of North Star, said: "This is a significant investment for us and confirms our belief in the future of the stand-by sector which currently employs around 3,000 British seafarers. We consider these new builds to be vital tothe modernisation of our fleet and are committed to both building and purchasing modern, second hand tonnage."
"We have been pre-eminent in the development of this critical aspect of UK offshore safety and aim to maintain our position as market leaders by further enhancing our fleet. Stand-by vessels have advanced greatly and today provide frontline cover for thousands of workers in one of the harshest environments in the world and are essential where the mass evacuation of an installation is required. However, they also provide other vital services, such as anti-collision surveillance, pollution control and oilrecovery, emergency towage and tanker assist duties."
"Last year we took delivery of two new multi-function vessels - Grampian Explorer and Grampian Surveyor which represented a £24 million investment. This was to satisfy our objective to diversify into global markets and enhance our capability to provide multi-role vessels to the oil and gas and telecommunications sectors in both domestic and international waters. Although built speculatively, both vessels are now on long-term charters, one offshore West Africa providing ROV services to the world's largest FPSOs, the other providing PSV duties in the North Sea."