Southeast Asian Owners Place Orders For OSV Newbuilds

With the offshore oil and gas industry reviving and the available offshore support vessel (OSV) tonnage all but dried up, some of the first newbuilds have been ordered for construction by southeast Asian owners.
“Offshore is ramping up right now,” ABS Singapore director, business development, David Gan told Riviera Maritime Media in an exclusive interview. Mr Gan revealed some owners in southeast Asia have already begun ordering newbuilds for the offshore oil and gas market. “We signed up three OSVs in January,” he said. Mr Gan could not disclose the name of the owner.
In another project, Mr Gan said ABS will class a construction service operation vessel for the renewables sector, with work starting on the newbuild February 2023.
There is also an increase in the secondhand sales and purchase market, Mr Gan observed. “Two to three years ago, when the offshore market was down, owners walked away from OSVs [being built] in China, even if they had paid a deposit, leaving shipyards to hold the vessel. Now stock is moving fast because owners are looking to reactivate vessels.” Almost all of these so-called ’ghost fleet’ vessels have been purchased for reactivation to be deployed in the buoyant Middle East and African markets.
Owners are searching far and wide for available tonnage, even so far as activating vessels that have been laid up for seven years. “There are three OSVs which have been laid up for seven years. Now they are being reactivated, and all are getting contracts to work in either in Africa, Australia or southeast Asia,” he said, adding, “It’s picking up.”
Reflecting on the offshore market, Mr Gan said owners ordering new OSVs would not do so unless they had a charter and financing in place. Most of them are either being deployed in the Middle East or in southern Asia.
“There were a number of jack-ups that were laid up in Singapore that ended up in the Middle East.”
Zero-emissions OSV advances
ABS is supporting a consortium of regional shipbuilders, designers and maritime technology firms that are developing a zero-emissions hybrid-battery OSV that will be built in Malaysia. The project brings together Malaysian shipbuilders Grade One Marine Shipyard, Muhibbah Marine Engineering, Shin Yang Shipyard and Singapore firm Evolution Concepts. Singapore-based Gennal Engineering, one of Evolution Concepts’ key technology suppliers in the project, received New Technology Qualification from ABS for an innovative non-flammable maritime battery technology that promises long life and will be incorporated in a new zero-emissions OSV.
Called Blue G, the vanadium redox flow battery system is now planned to move into prototype testing later this year.
The Blue G battery is comprised of a water-based electrolyte solution, storage tank, stack cell and regulating pump. The process of charging and discharging energy does not produce excess heat – a unique feature of the system, said ABS.