IHC Merwede and BAE Systems will enter into a cooperation agreement to meet the demands of the offshore construction vessel market in the USA. This cooperation enables IHC Merwede to enter new markets, which is in line with the company’s internationalization strategy. The partnership also allows BAE Systems to increase vessel new construction in its commercially focused shipyards.
According to the agreement, IHC Merwede, as a main contractor, will be responsible for the design and build of the vessels. The Dutch company has gained a reputation as a pioneer in the offshore industry. Its Houston office, IHC Merwede America Corp. will be responsible for the sales and business development activities.
BAE Systems will provide the production facilities for IHC Merwede at its shipyards in Mobile, Alabama and Jacksonville, Florida. The former offers direct access to and from the Gulf of Mexico and major shipping lanes. The 432-acre site is renowned for ship repairs and conversions, including those from commercial fleets, cruise ships and vessels serving the US defence cargo market. It also has extensive experience in the repair and conversion of drilling rigs and semi-submersibles serving the offshore energy industry.
The Jacksonville shipyard provides deepwater access to the Caribbean and Atlantic. It has a successful history of vessel repair, maintenance, overhaul, conversion and marine fabrication for domestic, international, commercial and government customers.
The vessels will be built in compliance with US regulations for coastwise
IHC Merwede President Govert Hamers says, “We are delighted to announce our agreement with BAE Systems. It highlights our commitment to our ongoing internationalisation strategy and provides an excellent opportunity to cooperate with shipyards in a new market, therefore expanding our customer base. The outlook for the offshore industry in 2011 is positive. It is expected to pick up, which should lead to an increase in capital expenditure as customers need to invest in new equipment. Our agreement with BAE Systems will be one of the ways in which we hope to capitalise on this in the coming years.”
“This partnership with a recognized global industry leader such as IHC Merwede is an extremely exciting and positive opportunity for both organizations,” said Bill Clifford, President of BAE Systems Ship Repair. “By working together, each of us can provide knowledge and experience from our individual areas of expertise that will grow our respective businesses and allow us to provide quality products at competitive prices to our customers.”