Ezra Orders Deepwater MFSV to Enter North Sea & West African Market
Ezra Holdings has awarded a contract worth approximately S$162.4 million for the design and construction of a large 27,000 brake horsepower (bhp) Multi Functional Support Vessel ("MFSV") to Karmsund Maritime Service AS of Norway. The contract value includes the cost of sophisticated equipment as well as integrated features such as an ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) hangar and foundations for a heave-compensated offshore crane and A-Frame, which allow the vessel to provide subsea support services. The MFSV will also be built to meet the stringent requirements of the "Environmental Protection" and "Clean Design" requirements for operations in the North Sea, including Norway.
Said Ezra’s Managing Director Lionel Lee: "This latest newbuild is in line with our strategy to strengthen our position as an integrated support services provider to the buoyant offshore oil & gas sector in the North Sea, South America and West African markets." "In order for the Group to tap meaningfully into the growth potential of these markets, we intend to expand our fleet of large, well-equipped multi-functional support vessels to complement and enhance the services provided by EOC Limited ("EOC"), our soon-to-be Oslo-listed production and construction arm," added Mr. Lee. When delivered in the first quarter of 2010, this latest MFSV will join Ezra’s two 30,000 bhp large deepwater Rolls-Royce designed multi-functional support vessels, which were ordered in May and scheduled for delivery in 2009 and 2010. "These large vessels will form the Group’s special task force to meet the high, yet varied technical and engineering needs of mid and deepwater offshore support services and subsea support work. Together with EOC, these vessels are expected to drive Ezra’s growth in the medium to long term," explained Mr. Lee. The MFSV will be equipped for various offshore duties such as:
- Offshore construction;
- Sub-sea installation;
- ROV interventions;
- Deepwater anchor handling in depths up to 5,000m;
- Supply runs;
- Standby and rescue; and
- Tanker assistance.
The consideration for this latest contract is payable in stages and will be satisfied through a combination of internal funds and bank borrowings. Ezra recently announced that it would place out up to 44.5 million EOC shares for between NOK 22.00 to NOK24.00 per EOC share, grossing in proceeds of between NOK979 million (S$258 million) to NOK1,068 million (S$282 million). Besides partially crystallizing the value of its investment in EOC, the share placement is also to facilitate EOC’s promotion to the Main Board of the Oslo Bors, the first Singapore company to do so. Ezra will retain approximately a 48% stake in EOC after the placement. EOC specializes in providing offshore, construction, hook-up and commissioning, pipe-laying and floating production services to the offshore oil & gas industry. It currently manages two heavy-lift accommodation crane barges and recently took delivery of the Lewek Champion, a pipe-lay and accommodation vessel.
Ezra currently manages 25 vessels and is expecting delivery of 11 more vessels by 2010. The Group also holds investment stakes in jackup rigs, and has strong operating and offshore marine logistics synergies with SGX-listed Ezion Holdings Limited (formerly: Nylect Technology Limited), in which it owns a 18.2% strategic stake.
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