Thailand-based Mermaid Maritime has placed a $436m order with China Merchants Industry Holdings to purchase two tender rigs and one dive support vessel to enhance its subsea engineering and drilling capabilities.

The two tender assist rigs will be built on a National Oilwell Varco (NOV) design that offers 50% extra deck space compared to older rigs, while providing accommodation for 200 and an enhanced safety system.

The new dive support and construction vessel will feature a remotely operated underwater vehicle and a twin bell saturation system that allows it to offer services like survey support, ROV support, diving support and subsea maintenance.

These rigs will be delivered in the first and second quarters of 2016, while the dive support vessel will be delivered in the third quarter of the same year.

Mermaid CEO Chalermchai Mahagitsiri said that its two drilling rigs, MTR-1 and MTR-2, are nearing the latter portion of their useful lives.

"The two state-of-the-art tender rigs we have ordered will enable us to operate at a higher level."

"The two state-of-the-art tender rigs we have ordered will enable us to operate at a higher level during a time in which customer preferences and hence day rates continue to favour newer equipment," Mahagitsiri said.

"The newly ordered dive support vessel meanwhile will be Mermaid’s fourth such asset, adding to a fleet high in demand by oil majors in the Middle East and Asia."

Mermaid said its three existing dive support vessels are currently working in Indonesia, the North Sea and the Gulf of Thailand.

The purchases will be financed through a combination of cash raised from Mermaid’s recently completed $176m rights offering and loans.

China Merchants CEO Zhu Guiming said, "The three orders represent the first fruits of a collaborative process that began between our two companies in early 2013, and will conclude with deliveries of all three vessels in 2016."

Image: A dive support vessel mock-up. Photo: courtesy of Mermaid Maritime.

Nri energy