AET – one of the world’s largest tanker owner-operators and provider of lightering support services in the US Gulf – will take delivery of two additional newbuild lightering support vessels (LSVs) in April and June. This follows the successful trial of the world’s first purpose-built LSV that entered service with AET in October 2011.
This vessel, AET Innovator, built by Louisiana based Leevac Industries, represented a significant step forward in efficiency and safety for ship-to-ship transfers. Following the vessel’s first few months of service, Bill Merritt, General Manager of AET Offshore, commented:
“The vessel has lived up to its design expectations with outstanding performances during maiden lightering operations. The crew comfort and maneuverability of the vessels are exactly what we need for this operation.”
Following the success of AET Innovator, the company took delivery of a second vessel, AET Excellence, last month (24 January), and will add a further two vessels to its fleet in April (AET Partnership) and June (AET Responsibility).
Commenting on the new vessels, Hor Weng Yew, AET President & CEO, said:
“As lightering experts, we are committed to servicing our customers in the US Gulf and we take our leadership position in this industry extremely seriously. Our investment in a fleet of new, innovative and purpose-built support vessels demonstrates our passion to deliver the safest and most efficient lightering support services anywhere in the world. We are determined to set the standards for this industry”
The LSVs are designed to be easily built and easily operated, featuring less piping, ballast and cargo tankage, and with the incorporation of high-lift rudders to improve steering. The vessel’s bow design features minimal flare and an inward-canted side shell (tumblehome) to optimise close-quarter manoeuvring and for ease and safety when working close-aboard tankers offshore. The LSVs are designed to carry more hoses and fenders and can stay out at sea longer. The vessels feature improved crew accommodation and have the ability to carry additional supplies.