COSCO Corporation announced today that their subsidiary, COSCO Qidong Offshore Co. Ltd., has secured a contract valued over USD $200 million from Axis Offshore, a joint venture between Danish shipowner, J. Lauritzen and Norwegian private equity fund, HitecVision, to build a Harsh Environment Semi Submersible Accommodation Rig. The contract with COSCO includes options for two more units, valid for 12 months and 24 months respectively.
CEO of Axis Offshore, Mr. Jesper Kragh Andresen, commented, “Axis Offshore is committed to grow its activities in the high-end offshore accommodation segment and we are pleased to take this first step for the North Sea. We have designed the new accommodation vessel to offer a safe, reliable and comfortable offshore accommodation solution. While we see opportunities in the North Sea we remain keen also to expand our presence in Brazil and also see potential in Australia.”
Built to Global Maritime’s GM500A design, the rig will be DP3-equipped and will have a capacity of 500 POB. This rig is aimed at targeting the strong demand for modern units to operate in the harsh environment in the North Sea, especially in the Norwegian and UK sector with emphasis on high safety standards and comfortable solutions for offshore accommodation.
Chairman of Axis Offshore, Mr. Helge Haakonsen, comments: “We have carefully studied different options for designs and yards and we believe that we have concluded a superior specification, which will be well received by customers in Norway, UK and worldwide. It will carry DNV’s ER Notation, which allows the unit to operate with the best optimum for safety and with high environmental efficiency. Safety standard will be “best in class” and the unit shall be equipped with new type of free fall lifeboats according to latest regulations of Norwegian PSA.
The rig is scheduled for delivery in Q1 2015.