RAPIDLY growing global subsea inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) group Harkand continues to pursue its aggressive growth strategy with agreements to build up to two new diving support vessels for the North Sea.
The company has awarded a contract with global shipbuilders Vard Holdings Limited (VARD) for one diving support and construction vessel (DSV), with options for a second. Delivery of the first vessel is scheduled for Q2 2016.
The deal, which marks an investment of $200m (USD) per vessel including additional plant and equipment, is the latest in a series of announcements Harkand has made around the growth of its global vessel and ROV fleet, including the recent addition of the new-build Harkand Harmony to its Asia Pacific operations and the long-term charter of the Siem Spearfish for its US operations.
Harkand chief executive officer John Reed said: “Diving services are at the core of our IRM services. Following the very successful deployment of the Harkand Atlantis in the North Sea and Harkand Da Vinci in Africa after their delivery in 2011, we aim at further expanding our capacity in the high-end DSV market, especially the North Sea.
“These new vessels take on the proven characteristics of Atlantis and Da Vinci, and add a number of improvements. The investment we are making in our business both in terms of our people and our assets underlines our commitment to create a modern, safe and efficient fleet that meets the highest standards of our customers on a global basis.”
The contract brings Harkand’s investment in its global operations since its formation in February 2013 to more than $300m, boosting its vessel fleet to eight and its ROV fleet to 33.
“These latest dedicated vessels will not only be instrumental in responding to our growing number of projects in the North Sea and globally, they will address the shortcomings of DSV supply, both in quantity and quality, that exist in the current market,” added Mr Reed.
“They will allow us to continue to offer the latest innovations in subsea technology through a state-of-the-art fleet both now and in the future and I look forward to many successful projects in the years ahead.”
The vessels are of VARD 3 03 design, specially designed and equipped for diving and subsea operation duties with a high focus on good sea-keeping abilities, excellent station keeping performances and low fuel consumption. Each will be fitted with a 250 ton offshore crane, an ROV hangar and a Twin Bell 18 Man Saturation Diving System capable of supporting split level diving operations to a maximum diving depth of 300 meters.
Scheduled for delivery from Vard Søviknes in Norway, each 121m long vessel also features two launch and recovery systems, a deck decompression system for surface diving to 50m and accommodation for up to 120 personnel.
Harkand aims to become the leading global name in subsea inspection, repair and maintenance and is focused on attaining the highest standards in health, safety, quality and environmental performance along with first class project execution.
Formed in 2013 through the merger of Iremis, Integrated Subsea Services (ISS), Andrews Survey and Veolia Marine Services, following investment by Oaktree Capital Management, the group today has sales in excess of $400m and aims to grow to $1 billion by 2017.
The company currently employs close to 1,000 people at bases in Aberdeen and a newly opened London office in the UK; Paris in France; Dubai in the Middle East; Houston in the US and Singapore and Perth in Asia Pacific.