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Steel cutting for GMS Enterprise at a yard in China

Steel cutting for GMS Enterprise at a yard in China



GMS building third jackup vessel

The firm’s latest barge underscores its expertise in building robust, cost-effective and technologically advanced vessels

August 2013

Abu Dhabi-based Gulf Marine Services (GMS), the largest provider of self-propelled self-elevating jackup barges in the world, has announced it is building its third E-Class jackup vessel GMS Enterprise.  The company has a further option to build a fourth E-Class vessel as part of its continued global expansion. 

Like the majority of her nine sister vessels, GMS Enterprise will be constructed at the company’s quayside facility in Abu Dhabi and is scheduled to launch this December, ready for new contracts in 2014. With the exception of the steel requirement from China, the modified Gusto jackup will be built in Abu Dhabi, with the detailed design, jacking system and outfitting completed by GMS’ skilled and experienced in-house team and a local labour force.

Duncan Anderson, chief executive officer at GMS, says:  “The fact that we can build our vessels here in Abu Dhabi is absolutely key as this allows us to produce these sophisticated niche assets at lower than market prices; at least 30 per cent less than our competitors can achieve.   The state-of-the-art design and operational efficiency of jackup barges like GMS Enterprise means we can also offer cost-effective solutions to our clients.  This, along with our excellent safety record, is what defines GMS.”  

During the past five years, the company has strategically expanded its fleet, offering adaptable multi-purpose jackup barges that can provide a range of offshore services in the oil, gas and renewable energy sectors world-wide, from well intervention to wind farm installation.

GMS, which has offices in Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and the UK, recently agreed a $360 million growth facility with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank that will allow it to capitalise on the growing international need for its vessels.  The company’s key areas of operations are in the Middle East, South East Asia, West Africa, the Mediterranean and the Southern North Sea, with current commitments worth around $460 million.

Anderson adds: “Our E-Class vessels, Endeavour and Endurance (built in 2010) are technologically advanced and robust; they can withstand harsh weather environments and operate in deeper waters.  GMS Enterprise will have further operational capabilities built into her design and will be an important addition to our fleet.”  

GMS Enterprise has four legs and provides a stable working platform with accommodation for up to 150 people; this can be increased depending on the contract and configuration. Deck machinery includes a 400-tonne main crane and a 60-tonne auxiliary hoist. The vessel also has a 22.2 m diameter helideck which can accommodate an S-92 helicopter. GMS Enterprise can operate in a water depth of 85 m and travel at eight knots.

The vessel has clear advantages over conventional jackup barges (those with three legs and those which are not self-propelled). The jacking speed to move from one location to the next in-field is faster and safer with four legs as no ballast is required, and the weather window required for GMS to make the move is a few hours, compared to the average of three days. The dynamic positioning (DP2) allows the vessel to move independently, with no need for anchor-handling or tug support, and ensures high accuracy positioning alongside platforms and pipelines.




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