Damen Shipyards has been awarded a contract by Atlantic Towing (USA) to build four ice-strengthened platform supply vessels (PSV) 5000.
Atlantic Towing has ordered this new fleet to cater to its ten-year offshore support contract with ExxonMobil Canada Properties and Hibernia Management and Development.
The new vessels will be deployed for offshore support services in the sub-Arctic waters of the Hibernia and Hebron oil fields off Newfoundland and Labrador.
One of the four vessels will be configured to perform inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) duties.
Damen Shipyards Gorinchem North America manager Jan van Hogerwou said: "These will be safety critical vessels, working in sub-arctic conditions in one of the world's foggiest places renowned for strong winds, high waves, snow and icebergs.
"All four will be benefit from iceberg management tools, while the IRM vessel will feature a 100t subsea crane equipped with an advanced heave compensation system for operation in the Grand Banks area."
The PSVs, which will complement Atlantic Towing's existing fleet of nine offshore support vessels, will be equipped with cost and emissions-efficient diesel-electric power plants.
Each vessel will feature slender-hull lines, flare-less bows and diesel-electric propulsion with azimuth-stern drives that are said to help minimise fuel consumption and emissions.
A selective catalytic reduction system and fuel-efficient generators will also be installed on the vessels, as part of Damen's clean design and environmental care protocol.
"The inclusion of diesel-electric propulsion is a key attribute, providing efficiency, flexibility and reliability under varied operational conditions in remote locations," Hogerwou added.
The first of the four vessels is slated for delivery in the second half of 2016.
As part of the contract, Damen will also establish a certified service and maintenance centre in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Image: A Damen Shipyards' PSV 5000 vessel. Photo: courtesy of Damen Shipyards Group.