Norwegian offshore service and supply ship shipping firm Solstad has confirmed an order with Singapore-listed VARD Group for a new-build, large subsea construction vessel.

The firm contract comes after Solstad signed a letter of intent (LOI) on 11 March with a major international offshore contractor to build and operate the vessel, including a LOI with VARD to construct the vessel.

The LOIs that were notified to the Oslo Stock Exchange have now been converted to firm contracts.

The new VARD 3 19 design vessel will be developed by Vard Design in Ålesund and is claimed to be the largest in the Solstad fleet.

The 180m-long vessel will have a 550t top tension vertical lay system to enable the installation of large diameter flexible pipes in ultra-deepwater environments.

Featuring a deck area of more than 2,500m², the vessel will have a beam of 33m and be installed with a 900t active heave compensated offshore crane and a 4,000t under-deck carousel for storage of flexible pipes, cables and umbilicals.

Construction on the vessel’s hull will be carried out at Vard Tulcea in Romania, while outfitting will take place at Vard Brattvaag in Norway.

Following delivery of the vessel, which is scheduled for the second quarter of 2016, the client will charter the vessel for a minimum of eight years.

Image: The VARD 3 19 vessel design. Photo: courtesy of Solstad Offshore ASA.