Deep Down, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: DPDW) has recently delivered what is believed to be the deepest class rated Launch and Retrieval System ("LARS") in the world. The 4,000 meter rated LARS was specially designed for subsea load handling, lifting and tensioning, and launch and retrieval of specialized undersea equipment, including Remote Operated Vehicles ("ROV"), in ultra-deep and harsh subsea environments.
Special functions include auto-variable speed control (load dependent), wire spooling and guide systems, grooved drums, emergency release capabilities, gravity lowering, emergency hoisting abilities, and a water-cooled drum to reduce heat on the umbilical, among others. The safe working load of the LARS is 28 tonnes, and the system is capable of delivering payloads at speeds of up to 76 meters per minute. Another unique feature of this LARS is the specially designed wraparound level wind sensor system which allows for more sensitive yet smoother operation in rugged, high-load, ultra-high deepwater applications. Deep Down plans to secure a patent for this very important feature. The 4000 meter LARS was sold to Perry Slingsby Systems, Inc. ("Perry") for integration with their new 4,000 meter rated ROV. Perry has produced more ROV systems than all other manufacturers combined.
Perry sold this system to Veolia ES Special Services, Inc. ("Veolia") which has placed the system on their newly-built state-of-the-art DSV MT-6016 vessel, named the Swordfish. Designed with cutting-edge technology, the new ship was custom-designed to allow Veolia to take on more complex subsea construction and dive-support projects. The Swordfish also has a Deep Down 3,000 meter rated LARS leased to them with a Perry ROV. A second 4000 meter rated LARS is expected to be delivered to Perry as soon as factory acceptance testing has been completed. The second LARS will also be sold to Veolia with a Perry ROV. Deep Down expects to sell additional LARS units of this class with an average minimum sales price of approximately $1.4 million each, depending on individual custom-engineered features and capabilities as requested by our clients.
"It is exciting to know that the new flagship for Veolia, the Swordfish, is set up for ultra deepwater environments and will have two Perry ROVs and two Deep Down LARS to help them accomplish their more challenging deepwater tasks. 2008 looks to be a very promising year, and our goal is to provide the best support possible to our clients, helping them meet their deepwater challenges with greater confidence," said Ron Smith, Deep Down's CEO. "We will continue to use proprietary-built state-of-the-art equipment (and third-party equipment such as the Baricon 30-ton, 4-track tensioner), engineering, and custom-developed installation and retrieval management systems to deliver cost-effective solutions, thereby distinguishing ourselves as the premier "first call" for our clients when confronted with a variety of challenges in ultra deepwater and harsh subsea environments", he continued.