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Netherlands-based IHC Merwede has expanded its product range with the unveiling of a new series of Packhorse offshore support vessels (OSVs).

The new range of vessels include the IHC Packhorse, a platform support vessel (PSV), and the IHC Packhorse-Maxi, which is a variant on the basic hull form.

The IHC Packhorse uses a low-cost highly efficient solution for the power distribution system developed by IHC Drives & Automation , according to the company.

The IHC Packhorse-Maxi will be equipped with portable equipment that can be used either as an in-house supply package or as specified by customers.

Designed with a range of options for subsea support on IRM work, light construction and cable laying projects, the IHC Packhorse-Maxi will be capable of accommodating 59 people.

Initially, the new series of Packhorse offshore support vessels will be built via a cooperation deal formed between IHC Merwede and Jaya Holdings.

IHC Merwede president Govert Hamers said the company recently extended its product range with the IHC Supporter Class.

"The IHC Packhorse range represents the first move to extend our product portfolio into the volume market, while continuing to be a dependable partner for offshore operators," said Hamers.

The main features of the IHC Packhorse include a large working deck, a fuel-efficient hull form, optimised power distribution and a flexible tank configuration.

IHC Merwege said the IHC Packhorse has been optimised to meet the needs of deep-drilling and deepwater support, and was designed in consultation with with operators and charterers.

A similar platform has been used for the IHC Packhorse-Maxi, which has dual-stability books for operation as a non-SPS PSV at deeper draught.

The IHC Packhorse-Maxi has also been designed to allow simple retrofitting of a heli-deck and is pre-strengthened to accommodate a 100t heave compensated crane.

Image: The new IHC Packhorse series of offshore support vessels will be built by Jaya Holdings. Photo: IHC Merwede.