MPU Offshore Lift ASA (MPUO) is building the MPU Heavy Lifter at the Keppel Verolme yard in Rotterdam. The vessel will be ready for commercial operation during 2Q 2009 and is financed through a combination of equity, a USD 110 million convertible loan and a term loan provided by ABN AMRO Bank of EUR 215 million. As the construction of the vessel is a huge and complex project, with many challenges, the Board of Directors of MPUO expects that there will be cost increases linked to further improvements and strengthening of the vessel as well as some other cost increases. Due to an agreement with the Bank, any additional costs in excess of today's budget will have to be funded with equity prior to drawdown of the bank loan.
In connection with the bank financing, Det norske Veritas will revue the construction and the accompanying costs and will render its report to the Bank. It is expected that such report will be available end May/early June and may have an impact on the requirement for any additional contingencies in the construction project. MPUO will revert with more precise information about further capital requirements at such time.
MPUO is very much encouraged by the strong market for offshore heavy lift operations within installation and removal of platforms and the rapidly expanding market for installation of large offshore wind turbines. The company is seriously considering several opportunities within this field and hopes to close contracts or LoIs within the next few months.
The slip forming of the first concrete column was completed the 30th of April. The continuous slip forming operation took 17 days and went according to plan. The quality of the work is high. By achieving this milestone the remaining concrete work will mainly be repetitions of previously performed operations, i.e. slip forming of three columns and casting of remaining sections of the top slab of the pontoon.
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