Vard has secured a $300m contract to provide design and construction of 15 module carrier vessels for Dubai-based Topaz Energy and Marine.

The Vard 9 21 design vessels measure 123m by 16.5m and have been developed to navigate the shallow river systems as they transport modules through the Russian waterways to Kazakhstan’s oilfields.

They have the capacity to carry high deck loads of up to 1,800t and will be operated by Topaz through a consortium led by Blue Water Shipping for client Tengizchevroil.

Vard plans to build five of the vessels at Vard Braila, four at Vard Tulcea in Romania and remaining six at Vard Vung Tau in Vietnam.

Delivery of these vessels is expected to take place between the third quarter of 2017 and second quarter of 2018.

"Vard has long history of projects for the Caspian region."

Vard CEO and executive director Roy Reite said: "Vard has long history of projects for the Caspian region, with seven vessels specifically developed for shallow-water operations delivered since 2010.

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"Topaz currently operates three vessels built by Vard in the Caspian, and has two light construction vessels for international operations on order from Vard."

The latest project will provide employment for Vard’s Romanian and Vietnam yards for the next two years.

Topaz Energy and Marine is a subsidiary of Renaissance Services SAOG, and provides marine solutions to the global energy industry with focus on the Caspian, Middle East, West Africa and Subsea operations in the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

The company operates a fleet of 100 offshore support vessels with an average age of seven years.

Image: Vard 9 21 – module carrier vessel for Topaz Energy and Marine. Photo: © Vard.