ECO Expands Aggressive Newbuild Campaign

Thursday, February 08, 2007
Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) announced plans to build several new anchor handling towing supply vessels (AHTS), as well as more than a dozen new generation 280-ft. platform supply vessels (PSV) in its affiliated shipyards in the U.S. All vessels are scheduled to join the ECO domestic fleet within the next three years. Construction highlights feature seven new anchor handlers: Two (2) 348-ft., 21,600 HP new generation anchor handlers and five (5) 288-ft., 16,000 HP vessels. Also slated for construction are fourteen (14) 4,700 deadweight ton PSVs. All the vessels are slated for delivery between February 2007 and mid-2010, and will be constructed at ECO affiliated shipyards: North American Shipbuilding (NAS) in Larose, LA, North American Fabricators (NAF) in Houma, LA and Gulfship in Gulfport, MS. One year ago ECO announced plans for the first three AHTS vessels, and has now ordered the equipment for the additional four. “ECO continues to provide the new generation vessels that meet the requirements of the deepwater operators,” said ECO President Gary Chouest. The first 288’ x 66’ x 29.5’ AHTS, the MAX CHOUEST, is slated for delivery in March 2007 from NAS. The JOSHUA CHOUEST, the next 288-ft. AHTS vessel in the series, is due for delivery in November 2007 from NAS. Three more are to follow with delivery dates at six-month intervals beginning in mid-2008. These vessels feature 200 MT bollard pull, DP2, increased capacities for both deck and below-deck cargoes and a deadweight tonnage of 4,236 LT. The ships will also be equipped with a 500 MT three-drum winch, secondary winches, chain lockers, dual tow pins, shark jaws and stern rollers. The first 348’ x 72’ x 31’ AHTS in the series, the DINO CHOUEST, is scheduled for a May 2008 delivery from NAS. An identical ship is slated for delivery in June 2009 from NAS. These vessels are also DP2, 210 MT bollard pull, new generation anchor handlers similar in size to the LANEY CHOUEST, a 348-ft. AHTS that has operated successfully for the past three years. These new larger anchor handlers will be equipped with a 600 MT four-drum winch. To date ECO has delivered twelve (12) 280’ x 60’ x 24’ platform supply vessels, with the CAROL CHOUEST slated for delivery and service in the Gulf of Mexico on March 1, 2007. The remaining fourteen (14) PSVs in this class are scheduled for deliveries every eight weeks afterwards. The 280-ft. PSV series has truly revolutionized the supply vessel industry in the Gulf of Mexico. Featuring a deadweight of 4,700 LT, these vessels feature dedicated below deck tankage for 15,000 barrels of liquid mud. The vessels also provide a clear deck area of 10,251 sq. ft (203’ x 50.5’), with a capacity of 2,700 LT. ECO also continues to add to its fleet by taking recent delivery of several new 160-ft. fast supply vessels, designed and built by Breaux Brothers in Loreauville, LA. ECO is also announcing the continuation of that newbuild relationship, with plans for an additional twelve (12) fast supply vessels, with delivery dates between February 2008 and August 2011.

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