Western Australian Cos Set New Standard for Offshore Vessels

Two Western Australian companies have cooperated to set new design and construction standards for multi-million dollar high speed vessels built specifically for the Australian offshore market.

Fremantle maritime support solutions company Samson Maritime ordered two 40m fast utility vessels from Henderson-based Strategic Marine last July, with the first of the vessels launched early this week at Strategic's Singapore yard.

The vessel, named the Samson Supporter, has a top speed in excess of 25 knots, business class seating for 50 passengers with the ability to increase passenger numbers to 100 by utilizing a modular interior, accommodation for twelve crew members, 120 sqm of deck space, as well as a central deck house.

Some of the unique features of the Samson Supporter are its use of dynamic positioning to allow the vessel to remain on station for extended periods and conduct accurate ROV work, and a 1sqm moon pool to allow hydrographic survey equipment to be deployed in a secure housing.

The vessel also has an A-frame crane installed on the aft of the cargo deck and FiFi 1 for firefighting, including a vessel deluge system.

Samson Maritime Director Jeremy Williams said these features were not required by industry standard crew boats, meaning the two vessels were truly unique.

"This brand new design combines the best of established maritime design principles with leading edge technology," Mr. Williams said.

"Importantly, these new vessels are built to the stringent requirements needed to operate them on the Australian coast.

"These boats have the inbuilt flexibility to allow them to perform a wide range of both inshore and offshore maritime support tasks, including high speed supply runs, crew transfer, safety support and intervention and inshore and offshore survey tasks," said Mr. Williams.

"We searched the world for a company that we felt had the right product for us as well as a proven capacity to deliver that product, and we found what we were looking for in Strategic Marine.

"They are true industry professionals who know how to deliver the right product on time and within budget," he said.

Strategic Marine Director Ron Anderson said he was delighted that the company's Singapore yard had once again demonstrated its ability to deliver ahead of schedule.

"This early launch was a great achievement since there were a number of significant contract variations which included a variety of interesting technical modifications," Mr. Anderson said.

Mr. Anderson paid tribute to the company's Singapore General Manager Paul Rudd and his team.

"Our Singapore yard has specialized in constructing crew boats since 2005, building up a great deal of experience and expertise in the process, and regularly delivering to clients well ahead of schedule," Mr. Anderson said.

"We have fast become a market leader in the South East Asia crew boat sector, but without our staff’s commitment to servicing our clients, I don't believe these achievements could have been possible," he said.

The Samson Supporter and its sister vessel, the Samson Supplier, which will be delivered in August, will service the highly active Western Australian oil and gas industry.

Strategic's Singapore yard is also currently working to complete two other 40m utility vessels ordered by Malaysian offshore servicing company Dinastia Jati Sdn Bhd last September. These are due for delivery in July and September this year.

Strategic Marine has a strong history of repeat orders from reputable companies and government organizations such as Syarkat Borcos Shipping, Svitzer and EMAS Offshore.

With three other yards in Australia, Vietnam and Mexico, the company is currently constructing 63 fully-financed vessels with an order book value of AUD$252.3 million.

The company's Vietnamese yard, which has the capability to construct large steel vessels, was officially opened in February this year and has already won more than AUD$95 million in orders.

To date, the facility has completed construction of the 103m x 50m steel pontoon base for the Australian Marine Complex's AUD$62 million Floating Dry Dock, which was shipped to Western Australia late last year. The dock is expected to be completed at the AMC complex in Henderson within the next two months.

The Vietnamese shipyard is also well advanced with the construction and outfitting of two 143m Dive Support Vessels for Singaporean client Marfield Ltd, as well as 40 oilfield service vessels, four landing craft and a new generation Voith Water Tractor.