Chevron, Britannia to Steer Craig Group Vessel

The Craig Group has handed over its latest newbuild vessel to Chevron and Britannia Operator Limited.

The Grampian Endurance is the twelfth new offshore support vessel in Craig Group's US $145 million fleet investment program. The $13 million emergency response and rescue vessel arrived in Aberdeen on March 22.

Craig Group division, North Star Shipping, a leading provider of offshore support, ROV survey and emergency response and rescue vessels, secured the ten year contract for the Grampian Endurance on the Alba and Britannia fields in the North Sea for Chevron and Britannia Operator Limited.

The IMT 960 designed vessel is 60 meters long with a 16 meter beam. She is equipped with two daughter craft and one fast rescue craft and has tanker assist capabilities with a 200 tonne towing winch and a bollard pull of 100 tonnes. She is classed Fire Fighting 1.

The Grampian Endurance is registered in Aberdeen and has created employment for around 30 seafarers.

North Star managing director, Callum Bruce, said, "We are very proud to take delivery of the Grampian Endurance -- a multi-role vessel with the ability to provide emergency response and rescue for more than one installation as well as having daughter craft, fire-fighting and tanker assist capabilities.

"This state of the art vessel combined with our experience and track-record will provide Chevron and Britannia with the safest, most modern and high quality service."

North Star named the vessel Grampian Endurance in honor of Alexander Macklin, the surgeon on board Sir Ernest Shackleton's legendary Endurance expedition in 1914. In one of the greatest tales of survival, the Antarctic expedition floundered in ice and the crew survived on Elephant Island while Shackleton began an extraordinary journey to seek help. Alexander Macklin was the father of Dick Macklin, a senior marine specialist with Chevron.

Craig Group managing director, Douglas Craig, concluded, "In 2001, we took the bold step of speculatively building two multi-purpose supply and ROV survey vessels the Grampian Surveyor and Grampian Explorer initially for international waters. Since then our confidence in the market and our ability to secure long-term charters for our new-builds has grown and our investment now stands at $145 million. This investment illustrates our commitment to the offshore sector both at home and internationally and secures our position of market leader in the provision of safe, modern, high quality vessels that meet our customers' expectations."