Iceni signs for two more South Catamarans
Wind farm service vessel manufacturers Alicat & South Boats IOW have received a £5.5m, two workboat order from Lowestoft UK based operator Iceni Marine Services.
The deal, the latest in a string of contracts signed by Alicat & South Boats IOW with UK vessel operators, is an illustration of the continuing success of UK firms in the offshore wind arena.
Lowestoft has just been selected as the base for operations and maintenance for the planned 340MW Galloper wind farm off the UK East Coast, the deal serving to illustrate the significance of establishing strong regional hubs to support industry growth.
The Iceni Vengeance and sister vessel Iceni Venture will expand the Iceni fleet of South Catamarans to six. Despite tendering to low cost competitor yards in the UK and Australia, Iceni chose to return to Alicat & South Boats IOW.
The all new 22m South Catamaran design, which benefitted from an extensive research and development programme, was developed in collaboration with Iceni to ensure that the technical requirements of the operator were met.
The two vessels, which will each carry 12 technicians alongside three crew members to and from wind farm developments in UK and across wider European waters, will be almost identical, but will make use of different propulsion systems.
Vengeance, to be built at the Alicat yard in Great Yarmouth, will use Hamilton water jet propulsion, with sprint speeds of up to 30 knots. Its Cowes built sister vessel, Venture, is South Boats' first to employ a controllable pitch propeller using Servogear, and will achieve anticipated sprint speeds of up to 32 knots.
"Commitment to custom technical innovation and the highest possible build quality is what, we believe, will continue to differentiate British boat builders from competitors across Europe and further afield in the developing Asian market, said Ben Colman, sales and marketing manager at Alicat & South Boats IOW.
"It's no secret that WFSV operators are looking for reliable, high quality vessels that are tailor made to cope with the increasingly demanding requirements of working on offshore projects worldwide, that's why the ongoing, retained client relationship with Iceni is so significant."
Earlier in his career, Iceni director Guy Gibson served as an apprentice at the Alicat Workboats yard when it was known as Richards Dry Dock and Engineering.
"Alicat & South Boats IOW has heritage in producing vessels of the highest quality, said Gibson.
"Building out a fleet of South Catamarans has not only allowed us a high degree of input into the design of the vessels, but should also serve to enhance our reputation as an operator of state of the art WFSVs."
Both vessels will be delivered in March 2015.