New Orleans-based Tidewater Inc., operator of the world’s largest fleet
of offshore supply vessels
, plans to invest between $300m and $500m annually through 2011 to renew its vessels.
Tidewater CEO and Chairman Dean Taylor made
the announcement, saying the investment would position the company to take advantage of growing opportunities in international markets.
The company recently accepted 16 new vessels and plans to receive another 50 by 2011. About 75 percent of the company’s fleet – 321 vessels – were built prior to 2000 and have an average age of 25 years.
In addition to building new vessels, Tidewater also is considering purchasing vessels from other companies or acquiring competitors to replenish its fleet. Taylor said demand for the company’s services would likely remain high, especially overseas where Tidewater has grown its market share. About 10 years ago, less than half of Tidewater’s revenue and 41 percent of its profit came from international operations. Currently, those figures have climbed to 85 percent and 91 percent.