GulfMark Americas, Inc. has selected BAE Systems’ shipyard in Mobile, Alabama to build two new platform supply vessels that will serve offshore drilling operations. The contract reflects continued growth in U.S. commercial shipbuilding for BAE Systems and a major step forward in the company’s support to the oil and gas industry.
Each of the GulfMark vessels will be qualified under the U.S. Jones Act and will measure 288 feet long and 62 feet wide. The selection also includes options to build two additional platform supply vessels in the future.
“GulfMark is excited about partnering with BAE Systems on this important project,” said David Rosenwasser, chief operating officer of GulfMark Offshore. “BAE Systems demonstrated unique capabilities that are essential to us, and we look forward to building a long-term relationship going forward.”
The design for the BAE Systems-built Green DP2 vessels will be provided by MMC Ship Design & Marine Consulting, Ltd. of Poland and will be based on similar platform supply vessels currently under construction for GulfMark abroad. The new vessels will be U.S. flagged and will support the anticipated future demand in the Gulf of Mexico offshore market, as well as other areas around the world as necessary.
“This contract reinforces our commitment to new construction in the commercial market and strengthens BAE Systems’ position as a highly competitive and financially stable builder of technically sophisticated ships,” said Richard McCreary, vice president of BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards. “We continue to grow our backlog of projects and build our workforce in Mobile.”
The GulfMark contract is part of a recent expansion at the Mobile shipyard. Last month, the company teamed with Mid Ocean Tanker Company and Alterna Capital to complete the American Phoenix, a U.S. flag/Jones Act-qualified product chemical tanker. Measuring 616 feet long and 105 feet wide, it is the largest vessel ever built and launched in the State of Alabama. BAE Systems has also begun construction on the MV Magdalen, a trailing suction hopper dredge that is scheduled to be delivered in 2014.
In addition to the vessels under construction in Mobile, BAE Systems announced in June that it was awarded a contract with Great Lakes Dock & Dredge Company to build two dump scows, which are used for dredging operations. Construction on the 262-foot-long dump scows is expected to start in October.
BAE Systems currently employs more than 650 people in Mobile and expects to hire an additional 275 workers there by the end of this year.
With state-of-the-art craft shops and fabrication facilities, no job is too big or too small for BAE Systems — from container and supply vessels to mega-yachts and tugs. Serving both military and commercial markets, the company operates six full-service shipyards in Mobile, Alabama; San Francisco and San Diego, California; Jacksonville, Florida; Norfolk, Virginia; and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.