Hornbeck Offshore Services, Inc. has expanded its multi-purpose supply vessel (MPSV) program to include one 430-ft. new generation DP-3 MPSV to be constructed at a European shipyard with an anticipated third quarter 2009 delivery. This 8,000 deadweight ton vessel will be equipped with two cranes, a helideck, a moon pool and accommodations for 100 people. The primary crane will have lifting capacity of up to 400 tons in up to 10,000 feet of water depth and the secondary crane will provide significant additional lifting capacity. This world-class MPSV will be capable of operating globally. However, the Company plans to deploy the vessel in its primary operating market, the deepwater and ultra-deepwater Gulf of Mexico
("GoM"). While this foreign-built vessel cannot qualify for Jones Act trade, the Company still intends to U.S.-flag the vessel, which offers certain strategic benefits to the Company and its GoM customers.
The new DP-3 vessel to be constructed will be included in the Company's MPSV program, which currently consists of two U.S.-flagged coastwise sulfur tankers that are being converted into 370-ft. new generation DP-2 MPSVs. Based on current internal estimates, the aggregate total project budget for these three vessels, before construction period interest, is now expected to be in the $250.0 million to $270.0 million range, depending on final vessel configurations. The Company plans to fund the incremental cost of this DP-3 newbuild MPSV from current cash on-hand and projected free cash flow.
Hornbeck Offshore also has an exclusive four-year option to construct two additional sister vessels based on the same DP-3 MPSV design at a U.S. shipyard of its choice, which would qualify for domestic coastwise trade under the Jones Act.