Today there are some 25 OSV design companies compared to only three to five 10 years ago, Ulstein Design & Solutions sales and marketing manger Lars Stale Skoge told attendees at a Nor-Shipping breakfast seminar.
The thriving offshore oil and gas sector combined with a falloff in merchant shipbuilding orders has caused non-specialist yards to pile into the OSV sector, Skoge explained, driving the demand for vessel designs.
Increased yard competition has also led to a downwards pressure on pricing, especially in countries like China, Turkey and to a lesser extent Singapore and Korea, he said, which meant a price differential with higher cost countries like Norway (and Brazil) of 25-35% for PSVs and 20-30% for AHTS vessels, he said.
However. European yards still held the edge in terms of ‘complexity and quality,’ he opined.
Ulstein itself only has capacity to build three to four newbuildings a year, and tends to concentrate on prototypes. Otherwise it has partner agreements with other yards worldwide which build its designs. One particularly innovative feature of Ulstein vessels is the X-BOW hull, introduced in 2005, of which some 60 have been built or ordered since.
“Ship of the Year” SX148 Seven Viking is an inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) vessel featuring the X-BOW hull design line, which was delivered to Eidesvik Seven in January. The vessel was built at Ulstein Verft in Ulsteinvik, from a hull constructed at JSC Zaliv Shipyard in Ukraine.