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Bourbon Offshore eyes up Indian potential

Bourbon Offshore eyes up Indian potential

Mumbai: Bourbon Offshore Norway believes there is "great growth potential" in the Indian offshore market and hopes to capitalise on the opening of its new office in the country. The company already has two platform supply vessels - the Bourbon Sapphire and the Bourbon Viking - on charter to Reliance, an Indian oil exploration and production company, but is aiming to expand its presence in this rapidly developing market. The Bourbon group opened its own office in India earlier this year and has also recently taken delivery of four multipurpose platform supply vessels from India's Bharati Shipyard. 

Speaking to journalists last week, marketing director of the group's Norwegian subsidiary Eirik Eide said that, as of mid year and excluding the bulk carrier fleet, the group as a whole was operating 335 vessels, with a further 141 on order. It is therefore well on target to achieving its aim of becoming the world's largest provider of offshore vessels by 2012.

Much of the group's fleet expansion programme is focused on China, and specifically the Zhejiang Shipyard where a series of some 70 Liberty-class anchor handling tugs are being built and delivered - one roughly every three weeks on average - between now and 2011. Bourbon Offshore Norway is also building four highly sophisticated platform supply vessels there. Built to an Ulstein PX105 design, the first in the four-ships series - the Bourbon Front - is due for delivery in April 2010 Three others - the Bourbons Clear, Calm and Rainbow - will follow in quick succession over the next five months. The Norwegian subsidiary will also take delivery of two large construction support vessels in 2010.

Eide says the company has no misgivings about building complex vessels in China. Key components are either supplied from Norway or specified, and Ulstein provides detailed drawings for the yard to work from. The attraction? Well, four ships for the price of three could have something to do with it.  [19/10/09]