Mermaid Marine Australia (MMA) has been awarded a contract from Inpex Operations Australia (Inpex) for two platform supply vessels (PSVs) for long-term production support operations.

Under the terms of the contract, MMA will operate two newbuild Vard 1 08 PSVs for the Ichthys LNG project operated by Inpex with a fixed term of five years plus two five-year options.

The vessels will be built in Asia according to Inpex’s specifications and will be delivered to MMA in late 2015 and early 2016 respectively.

Australian resident crew will operate the PSVs, which will supply the Ichthys project’s offshore facilities from Darwin and Broome.

The contract value is said to be A$160m ($144m).

"The contract value is said to be A$160m ($144m)."

According to MMA, the contract further extends the company’s strategy of operating the vessels in the Australian and South East Asian markets.

The two newbuild vessels are expected to complement the recently delivered Mermaid Leeuwin (VARD 05L), Mermaid Inscription (MMC 887), Mermaid Leveque and Mermaid Vigilance.

Mermaid Leeuwin is contracted to Woodside Petroleum for the next 18 months, Mermaid Inscription is working for Allseas Contractors Australia, Mermaid Leveque is contracted to Subsea7 for eight months and Mermaid Vigilance contracted to operate in Malaysia for seven months.

MMA managing director Jeff Weber said: "This contract is a major step forward for MMA. These vessels represent the state of the art for supply of chemicals to offshore production assets."

MMA claims that its strategy to move into PSV operations will extend its ability to serve the needs of its clients through all phases of the oil and gas cycle starting from exploration, through construction to long-term production activities.