SILK Holdings (SHB), through its subsidiary Jasa Merin, has signed an agreement with Muhibbah Engineering to buy two anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessels for MYR240.6m ($77.8m).

The two AHTS vessels, IDS Darul Ehsan and IDS Darussalam, have a length of 70m with a 120t bollard pull and are equipped with 10,800hp engines.

The two AHTS were acquired from their previous owners.

The deal was funded by internal funds and bank borrowings, with Jasa Merin having partly settled a total of MYR16m ($5m) of the purchase price for the vessels.

SILK Holdings executive chairman Dato’ Mohd Azlan bin Hashim said that the additions brings the total number of owned-vessels in the fleet to 18.

"The vessels are ready-built and are immediately able to contribute to earnings," Hashim said.

"In addition, both vessels fit the operational requirements of Jasa Merin and are about one-year old.

"The acquisition of the two 70-metre 120-tonne bollard pull vessels were strategically necessary to ensure Jasa Merin continues to be able to meet customer demands for DP2 rated AHTS vessels, particularly in light of recent developments of the industry moving away from an era of ‘easy oil’ towards ‘difficult oil’."

The two vessels are expected to be delivered by the fourth quarter of 2012 and are part of the company’s fleet renewal and expansion plan.