Hallin Marine has signed a contract for the construction of an 80-meter dynamically positioned (DP2) subsea operations vessel, to be named the Coniston.
The Coniston will be fitted with an integral saturation diving system, a 50 tonne active heave compensated 1500 meter depth subsea crane and high efficiency diesel electric propulsion.
The order for the vessel has been placed with experienced shipbuilders Bina Marine Pte Ltd (Bina Marine) and delivery is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2010. Hallin will source both the saturation diving system and the crane for installation in the Coniston. The anticipated total cost of the finished vessel to the Company will be US $51.4 million.
The Coniston will be able to operate in deepwater, carry and deploy the Company's Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and accommodate up to 120 personnel.
The purchase of the Coniston continues Hallin's stated three prong vessel strategy of operating a mix of owned; long-term charter; and short-term charter vessels. This strategy is designed to ensure the availability of competitively priced vessels -- key to the Company's continued growth -- and ensure flexibility within its operating fleet to meet changing market conditions.
The Coniston will be 80% financed by debt with the remainder coming from the Company's cash reserves. The debt is in the form of a construction loan, where competitive terms have been agreed. The loan will support the construction phase of the project and will, on delivery of the vessel to Hallin, be converted into a ten-year term loan.
Bina Marine is a subsidiary of Marco Polo Pte Ltd, the Singapore quoted ship builders and operators. Construction of the Coniston will take place at Bina Marine's modern shipyard in Batam, Indonesia, close to where Hallin's first vessel, the Ullswater, was recently launched.
The Coniston is the third subsea operations vessel Hallin has ordered. The first, the Ullswater, is scheduled for delivery at the end of this year; and the second, the Windermere, is due for delivery in the first quarter of 2010.
John Giddens, the CEO of Hallin Marine, said, "The Coniston will be another outstanding subsea operations vessel to add to our growing fleet.
"Much of our rapid growth has been down to the ability to offer clients a tailor made, vessel based, total package solution and the Coniston will significantly add to our capacity to do exactly that. It will be an ideal work platform for saturation diving and ROV operations.
"The Hallin fleet will help ensure we continue to deliver Hallin's strategy of successful, planned growth.
"The Coniston will build on the industry leading concept and design of the Ullswater and the Windermere. Like the Windermere the Coniston will be fitted with a fuel efficient diesel electric propulsion system, Voith Schneider stern thrusters for improved dynamic positioning performance including active roll reduction and a capable deep water subsea crane.
"Despite the significant global increase in the cost of materials we have managed to restrain the increase in the purchase cost of the Coniston compared to its sister ships to a manageable level. The business case for the Coniston is very strong and we are confident that Bina Marine will build and deliver us an excellent, cost effective vessel ideally suited to our existing and future needs."
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