Clough Signs Long Term Charter for Normand Clipper

Clough has entered into an agreement with Norwegian company, Solstad Cable UK Limited, for the long term charter of the ex. cablelay ship "Normand Clipper".

The "Normand Clipper" will be converted to an offshore construction service vessel at the Ulstein Verft AS yard in Norway and will be ready for service from June 1, 2005. The conversion will equip the vessel with a specialist deep water and subsea construction capability.

Clough has signed a charter agreement for the Normand Clipper of 180 days, commencing in December 2005. Following this period, Clough has first right of refusal on options to extend the charter period for up to three years. Funding for the vessel charter will be provided from the current project pool requiring no upfront capital outlay.

Mr Vic Hall, CEO of Clough's Oil & Gas Division, said: "The charter of the "Normand Clipper" provides Clough with an economical solution for the offshore installation works associated with ONGC's G1 Indian project awarded late last year.

"By exercising the extension options Clough has an opportunity to regain a presence in the subsea construction market once held through its 50% ownership of the "MSV Maxita". Together, the "Normand Clipper" and Clough's pipelay crane barge "Java Constructor" provide complementary capabilities servicing full field development projects.

"In addition, the SURF (subsea, umbilical, riser & flowline) market is expanding on a global basis. The signing of this agreement will re-energize Clough's subsea construction business and effectively position the Company to capture a larger percentage of the SURF market" Mr. Hall said.

Following conversion, the M/S "Normand Clipper will have an overall length of 127.5 meters and width of 27 meters. It will be equipped with a 250 ton deep water crane, 60 ton A-Frame, 140 ton traction winch for plowing operations, diving moonpool, ROV launch system and accommodation for 102 persons. The vessel will be dynamically positioned to DP2 class.