& Associates, Inc. (GPA) announced that the Seattle based Naval Architecture Firm has signed a contract in February 2008 with French marine services provider Bourbon to deliver the concept design, regulatory package, and final design for 10 GPA 696 IMR vessels.
Measuring 100m in overall length and 21m in maximum breadth, the GPA 696 IMR vessels are currently the largest in the GPA-designed PSV fleet, which include vessels measuring 58m – 92m ft in overall length. The 10 IMR multipurpose vessels, which will be equipped with two deck cranes and a helideck designed for a Super Puma Helicopter EC225, will be constructed at Zhejiang Shipyard in China, where 18 GPA 670 PSVs owned by BOURBON have been or are currently being constructed, including 4 GPA 670 PSV MKII Special Products and 4 GPA 670 PSV MKII ROVs.
The configuration of the environmentally friendly diesel-electric propulsion system of the Fifi-1 certified GPA 696 IMR (Inspection, Maintenance & Repair), which will be equipped with Z-Drives, tunnel bow thrusters and azimuthing bow thrusters delivered by Schottel, creates fully redundant engine rooms and thruster compartments and also results in reduced maintenance cost and improved station-keeping at offshore installations, and significantly increases crewmember safety. This has been GPA standard for all the GPA 600 and 200 series of offshore support vessels.
With this order, the number of new GPA 600 and 200 series of offshore support vessels already
serving the industry or currently or soon to be under construction has increased to 134.