Computer generated illustration of the new GPA 654 series of supply boats for Rigdon Marine. emphasis on handling wider and deeper hulls." To make the point, Socha refers to work one of their repair yards are doing with Harvey, La.-based Epic Divers and Marine. "We have recently worked on upgrading three of their 190 to 210-ft. vessels installing new high saturation diving equipment and other renovations," Socha said. Bollinger also has plenty of new construction work to do considering they have an order for ten 190-ft. supply vessels for Rigdon Marine, Houston, Texas. This is a follow on order of 10 similar vessels that Bender Repair and Shipbuilding of Mobile delivered to Rigdon earlier this decade. Like their predecessors, these vessels will feature diesel-electric drive and DP-2 certification. The deliveries begin this summer. One company that really has not stopped building supply vessels is Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO), Galliano, La. "The major oil and gas companies continue to want large high-performance vessels and we keep our two shipyards and a select number of smaller builders busy," said Roger White, senior vice president of ECO. ECOs shipyards in Larose and Houma, La. continue to turn out the largest supply vessels in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), measuring 280 x 65 ft. with a deadweight tonnage of 4,700 LT, including 15,000 barrels of liquid mud and 10,000 sq. ft. of cargo deck. The company has built 12 of these vessels and has 14 more on order. A new series of Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) vessels is also under construction with lengths of 348 and 288 ft. long. Seven will be built with deliveries in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Those two building programs will keep the company's two shipyards busy when you factor in all of the repair, upgrading and regulatory work these facilities do for their existing fleet of over 100 vessels. "With our increased shipbuilding activity, we are opening a new shipyard in Gulfport, Miss., called Gulf Ship L.L.C.," White added. "It is a 31.2 acre site and will employ 250 people initially on a variety of commercial projects," White said. ECO is also working on additional shipbuilding capacity in Shreveport, La., Houma, La. and Brazil. Chouest has other shipyards build a variety of other offshore craft. Breaux Brothers Enterprises, Loreauville, La., has built the entire fleet of ECO crew/supply boats with an emphasis on fast supply. The word "fast" is the first word in every vessel's name of this type of boat in the fleet. Eight of these vessels are on order. Lift boats are another specialized type of vessel that ECO contracts out. Bollinger Shipyards have two such vessels with 245-ft. legs under construction for ECO. Both have 2007 deliveries LEEVAC Industries has been building supply boats for the GOM every since there was a need for this type of vessel. The shipyard built the majority of the 27boat fleet for Hornbeck Offshore Services, Mandeville, La. Now it has a contract for eight more 240-footers, options for two and plans for four more, with deliveries beginning in 2008 and extended to 2011 if all options and plans are built. Hornbeck has such a need for supply boats the company contracted an additional two 240-footers with Nichols Brothers Boatyard near Seattle for 2007 delivery. This year LEEVAC will finish up an order of supply boats for Tidewater, Inc., of New Orleans and deliver one to Kilgore Marine. Bender Shipbuilding, which always seems to have several OSVs in their yard, finished 2006 by delivering a 280-ft. ROV support vessel to Otto Candies, LLC, Des Allemandes, La. They began 2007 with an order for five 245-ft. AHTS vessels from Seacor Marine for 2007 and 2008 delivery, and a pair of 210-ft. PSVs for Trico Marine with deliveries scheduled in March and July of 2008. Harvey Gulf Marine of Harvey, La. has built its reputation on tough, high HP ocean-going tugs, but now is building up its supply boat fleet. In a $200 million contract with Eastern Shipbuilding Group of Panama City, Fla., the company has ordered three 280-ft. supply boats with extremely high load capacities, plus a 265-ft. dive support vessel. The dive support vessel, Harvey Discovery, has been delivered along with one of the supply boats with the other two due out of Eastern this year. 32 · MarineNews · April, 2007
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