September 21 - The increasing demand for means of transportation for extremely large and heavy production platforms has prompted Dockwise Ltd to investigate the options of building a new semi-submersible vessel, larger than its Blue Marlin (73,000 tonnes)

Dockwise says that it would fund construction of the vessel through a USD100 million rights issue and announced that its three largest shareholders (HAL Investment B.V.Sankaty Advisors LLC and Project Holland Deelnemingen BV) have pledged their support for the issue and will vote in favour of it at a special shareholders' meeting this year. They have also pledged to subscribe to the rights that are not exercised by other shareholders.

Dockwise says that the new vessek anticipates the production and subsequent transportation of new oil and gas production equipment that is planned to come to the market from the year 2012 and beyond, adding that clients have indicated that there is a desire for pre-fabrication of even larger integrated production platforms and spar buoys, the design and construction of which is currently limited by the available means of transportation. Dockwise is also targeting the purpose built FPSO market with the new 

The decision on whether to go ahead with the rights issue is subject to a final investment decision by the Dockwise board, that will be made taking into account commercial, technical, procurement and debt financing feasibility, including tank tests, available shipyard capacity, timely delivery and approval by authorities of the novel design.

CEO André Goedée comments: "I am greatly encouraged by the strong show of support from our largest shareholders for this exciting project. This support is a clear sign to potential clients that Dockwise will have the financial wherewithal to really build this unique vessel, if our feasibility studies confirm our commercial and technical ideas."