China’s state-owned Cosco Shipyard Group subsidiary has secured a contract worth $470m from Maersk Supply Service to build four subsea supply vessels.
The contract awarded to Cosco (Dalian) Shipyard comes with an option for development of two more supply vessels.
Maersk’s order is part of its newbuilding programme under which it plans to reshape its fleet with new anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) and subsea support vessels.
The DP3-classed subsea support vessels will be designed by Norway-based Marin Teknikk, based on its MT6027 design.
Delivery of the vessels is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2016 and the first half of 2017.
The 137m-long and 27m beam vessels will have a capacity of 8,000dwt deck area of 1,925m² and will feature a 400t AHC crane and a 275t vertical lay tower over the moon pool.
The ships will be designed to accommodate an under-deck carousel for holding 3,000t products and will have the capacity to operate at depths of up to 3,000m. With a single cabin, each ship will have the capacity to accommodate 120 people.
Maersk Supply Service CEO Carsten Plougmann Andersen said: "With this new order in China, we have taken the next step in our extensive new-building programme.
"We are reshaping our fleet to focus primarily on anchor handling tug supply vessels and subsea support vessels. In a long-term perspective we see great potential in these segments."
The company will charter the vessels to international oil companies and construction companies.
In addition to the latest order, Maersk has one subsea supply vessel and two AHTS vessels on order from shipyards in Romania and Chile.