November 8 - Subject to approval by a Special General Meeting of shareholders to authorise the proposed USD100 million rights issue to part-finance the investment, Dockwise Ltd has announced its intention to commission a newbuild vessel to serve the emerg

The shipping company has been studying the feasibility of investing in a new semi-submersible monohull vessel, bigger than its current largest vessel, the Blue Marlin . This so-called ' Type 0 ' vessel, with capacity of more than 100,000 tonnes, and a decksize of 275 m x 70 m will be a first for the maritime transport industry and is expected to require a total investment of approximately USD200 million.

Dockwise says that it has applied for a patent on the design of the vessel and adds that the rationale for the new ship is that the majority of Dockwise's revenues originate from the oil and gas industries, where current trends for projects and equipment are towards greater scale and size for premier projects.

Exploration and production is shifting from shallow water in traditional areas to deep water and remote areas, leading to demand for larger, heavier equipment, in single transportable modules.

Furthermore, plant and equipment is increasingly constructed in dedicated, low cost environments ahead of transportation.

Dockwise says that its close liaison with customers commissioning production platforms, sparbuoys and FPSOs , to be deployed in offshore projects in the coming decade, has given the company a view of the scale and complexity of the transportation demands, it will be required to meet.

The new vessel, which has already passed its tank tests, will exhibit a revolutionary bowless design for key operational advantage.

With Dockwise's existing backlog in combination with projects on the horizon it is expected that the vessel will be occupied when it will come out of the shipyard in the latter part of 2012. Dockwise is currently in the process of negotiating with selected first rate shipyards for construction of the new vessel.

Dockwise intends to raise approximately USD100 million through a fully committed rights issue.

André Goedée, Dockwise chief executive officer, said: "The decision to invest in this unique new vessel once again underlines our view towards the future and the position of Dockwise at the premium end of the marine heavy transport industry. We have determined that there is a growing desire to develop larger structures for the deepwater development of hydrocarbons and we have determined this investment to be key to support our clients, oil companies, engineers and the yards, in this trend in the next decades."