March 8 - Seajacks International has entered into a contract with GustoMSC to provide the basic design package for two or more newbuild wind farm installation jack-up vessels.

The jack-ups, which will double the Seajacks fleet, are being designed specifically to service the wind farm installation market in the harsh operating environment of the North Sea, as well as to provide services to the oil and gas sectors.

The vessels will be a modified version of the MSC NG5500 design, which incorporates a fully redundant DP2 propulsion system, accommodations for 90 persons, and an 800 tonne leg-encircling crane designed by MSC.

Seajacks has contracted MSC to develop the basic design package, prior to final selection of a shipyard, in order to ensure the newbuild delivery schedule is maintained. Seajacks is anticipating the delivery of the first newbuild in the first quarter of 2012 and then additional newbuilds shortly thereafter.

Seajacks currently owns and operates two self-propelled jack-up vessels out of Great Yarmouth in the UK, the Seajacks Kraken and Seajacks Leviathan. Both vessels are purpose built for installing offshore wind turbines, as well as being able to perform a number of niche operations for the North Sea oil and gas industry.

Blair Ainslie, managing director of Seajacks, said, "We are very excited about the additions to Seajacks' fleet and look forward to offering this new generation of purpose built vessels to our clients. The new vessels will facilitate faster and more efficient installation of turbines and foundations offshore, and provide us with an excellent platform for expansion into other aspects of this growth industry."