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North Star Shipping, a subsidiary of shipping and energy services firm Craig Group, is planning to invest £50m to build new vessels at Astilleros Balenciaga in Spain, following a contract with Talisman Energy (UK).

As per the deal, North Star Shipping will build two new platform supply vessels (PSV) to support Talisman’s North Sea operations.

North Star managing director Callum Bruce said the award of this contract secures the company’s position at the forefront in the provision of vessels in the North Sea.

“Our major investment in vessels supports the UK offshore industry and its employees, as well as showing our continuing support to British shipping,” Bruce said.

The two PSVs will be of IMT-982 design with a length of 83 metres, a beam of 18 metres and will be built at the Balenciaga yard in northern Spain. The PSV pair, scheduled to be delivered in the second and fourth quarters of 2013, will have diesel electric propulsion systems that offer greater fuel economy and efficiency.

Following the delivery of the two PSVs, Craig Group’s fleet size will increase to 37 vessels, with 31 vessels currently under operation and a further six vessels under construction, making it a leading UK-based offshore support company.

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According to the company the contract from Talisman Energy, which is for five years with multiple options thereafter, will create 50 new jobs.

Craig Group chairman and managing director Douglas Craig said through continuous investment in the company’s people, infrastructure and vessels, it is demonstrating its commitment to meeting the needs of clients with a service that is driven by safety and quality.

“The new vessels meet Talisman’s expectations in terms of safety, operability and efficiency and we continue to look for ways to provide the most innovative, cost effective solutions for all our customers,” Craig said.