Could this be the beginning of the end for foreign vessels in the GoM?

I missed this one from last month… It may be old news but it certainly is good news to me!

IHC Merwede and BAE Systems join forces to service US offshore vessel market.

By WorkBoat Staff


IHC Merwede, an international supplier of offshore vessels and equipment, and global defence and security company BAE Systems will enter into a cooperation agreement to meet the demands of the offshore construction vessel market in the United States, according to a press release. This cooperation enables IHC Merwede to enter new markets, which is in line with the company’s internationalisation strategy. The partnership also allows BAE Systems to increase vessel new construction in its commercially focused shipyards, the release reads.

According to the agreement, IHC Merwede, as a main contractor, will be responsible for the design and build of the vessels. The Dutch company prides itself on the construction of offshore ships, which are reliable, efficient and flexible to the demands of challenging oil and gas projects. Their Houston office, IHC Merwede America Corp. will be responsible for the sales and business development activities. BAE Systems will provide the production facilities for IHC Merwede at its shipyards in Mobile, Ala., and Jacksonville, Fla. The former offers direct access to and from the Gulf of Mexico and major shipping lanes. The 432-acre site has experience in the repair and conversion of drilling rigs and semi-submersibles serving the offshore energy industry. The Jacksonville shipyard provides deepwater access to the Caribbean and Atlantic.

The vessels will be built in compliance with US regulations for coastwise trade (Jones Act).

IHC Merwede President Govert Hamers said in a statement, “We are delighted to announce our agreement with BAE Systems. It highlights our commitment to our ongoing internationalisation strategy and provides an excellent opportunity to cooperate with shipyards in a new market, therefore expanding our customer base. The outlook for the offshore industry in 2011 is positive. It is expected to pick up, which should lead to an increase in capital expenditure as customers need to invest in new equipment. Our agreement with BAE Systems will be one of the ways in which we hope to capitalise on this in the coming years.”

“This partnership with a recognized global industry leader such as IHC Merwede is an extremely exciting and positive opportunity for both organizations,” said Bill Clifford, President of BAE Systems Ship Repair, in a statement. “By working together, each of us can provide knowledge and experience from our individual areas of expertise that will grow our respective businesses and allow us to provide quality products at competitive prices to our customers.”

IHC Merwede are the designers and builders of the HOS ACHIEVER and HOS IRON HORSE. Neither of those is US flagged but any of the ones coming in the future from Mobile or Jacksonville will be and that means jobs for both US shipbuilders and US mariners!

The tide might finally be a startin to turn. Hallelujah and amen!

I did some work late last year at the BAE yard in Mobile. One thing that I noticed is that there are ready and hungry for work. Nice facility, too.

[QUOTE=cmakin;55073]I did some work late last year at the BAE yard in Mobile. One thing that I noticed is that there are ready and hungry for work. Nice facility, too.[/QUOTE]

There is really no good reason that these vessels can’t be built for an acceptable cost by BAE. Chouest certainly has the ability fo do it if they could get the big hulls out of LaRose or Houma. I have heard that they want to build them at the yard in Tampa they have acquired and believe they will given an incentive to do it such as the USCG and CPB to stop giving foreign owned and manned vessels unlimited access to the GoM. Also, Otto Candies has had three large subsea vessels built for them at Dakota Creek Industries in Anacortes, Washington. I haven’t heard how they turned out regarding cost but if it was close to the contract then there is another can do yard although at present they don’t have a way to launch a 400+ foot hull.

There is a whole pile of subsea contruction work to be done in the GoM in the years ahead and it is time for this to happen with US built vessels with US crews manning them!