Edison Chouest to build 40 supply vessels

Edison Chouest Offshore says it will build more than 40 new vessels to meet growing demand for offshore oil and gas support in the Gulf of Mexico, the Arctic and Brazil.

The new vessels continue a build campaign the Galliano-based company launched in 2011. Edison Chouest did not disclose the cost of the newest round of ships.

Most of the construction work will be spread among Chouest’s four U.S.-affiliate shipyards — North American Shipbuilding in Larose, LaShip in Houma, Gulf Ship in Gulfport, Miss., and Tampa Ship in Tampa, Fla. — as well as its Brazilian shipyard, Navship.

The largest portion of the new build program will be the construction of 17 diesel-electric platform supply vessels. Chouest intends to market the new vessels, which feature a new hull form designed to carry more weight while lowering hydrodynamic resistance, as a more fuel-efficient option to oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico.

Chouest’s plans also include two new ice class vessels designed for service work in the Arctic and four new subsea construction vessels slated for service in the Gulf of Mexico. The company’s fleet of icebreaking vessels, which will total six when the new builds are delivered, has supported Royal Dutch Shell’s drilling activity in Alaska.

Chouest operates a fleet of nearly 250 offshore service and support vessels worldwide.