GMS Announces Offshore Wind Vessels Fleet Expansion

GMS E-Class jackup barge - lower res

Gulf Marine Services (GMS) has announced a strategic new-build programme that includes a further E-Class vessel – similar to GMS Endeavour, the company’s jackup barge currently occupied in wind farm operations in European waters – and three S-Class vessels, a new design GMS describes as a ‘workhorse’ ideally suited to the renewables industry.

The four new self-elevating self-propelled vessels with dynamic positioning (DPII) will be capable of global operations in the oil, gas and renewable energy sectors and will be built at the company’s yard in Abu Dhabi. The first, GMS Enterprise, is already underway and will be ready for new contracts in quarter three, 2014.

The new S-Class jackup design will bridge the gap between GMS’ existing seven K-Class assets currently operating in the Middle East in water depths of up to 45m and equipped with 36 and 45 ton crane options, and its two E-Class harsh weather dynamic positioning (DPII) vessels currently working in the North Sea and suitable for worldwide operations in water depths of up to 65m and with 230 ton and 300 ton cranes.

Duncan Anderson, chief executive officer at GMS, says: “We’ve seen a major increase in demand for our jackup barges over the last five years. As a result, we are currently building a third E-Class vessel in Abu Dhabi with this capable of working in even deeper water, up to 80m, and with a larger 400 ton crane; we also have an option to build another of these large units.

“In addition to this, we’ve identified a need for a jackup that falls mid-way between the two classes we already provide, and have produced a modified Gusto design called the S-Class. We will start building the first of three new S-Class barges this month (November), which will be ready for quarter two 2015.”

The S-Class will have DPII and will operate in depths of up to 55m, however it will be a smaller and more utilitarian harsh weather barge than the E-Class; a workhorse that will be ideal for wind-related operations. It will have 800 sq m of deck space, a 150 ton main crane, a 15 ton auxiliary crane, and will accommodate from 150 to 300 people.

The S-Class jackups will be used for well services in the oil and gas sector and for offshore wind farm maintenance, in northwest Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia and West Africa.

Through its new build and renewal programme, the company has ensured its fleet is the youngest and most sophisticated in the industry, currently with an average age of just nine years, compared to a global offshore average of 24. Using its in-house construction facility, GMS has a proven track record of successfully customising its fleet of self-propelled jackup barges to meet the requirements of the offshore renewables industry.

Duncan Anderson adds: “The fact that we can build our vessels in Abu Dhabi is absolutely key as this allows us to produce these sophisticated assets at lower than market prices. The state-of-the-art design and operational efficiency of jackup barges like GMS Enterprise and the new S-Class means we can also offer cost-effective solutions to our clients. This, along with our excellent safety record, is what defines GMS.”


Press Release, November 19, 2013