With Covid-19 injecting market uncertainty among buyers and sellers, offshore support vessel S&P transactions in 2020 have dipped 33% from levels experienced over the last two years
In its July report, UK-based ship valuation firm VesselsValue said 75 offshore support vessels have been sold in 2020, about 33% lower year-on-year than levels experienced in 2018 and 2019, when 113 vessels were sold each year in S&P transactions. Vessel sales in 2020 have totalled US$133M, about 63% less than sales in 2019, which hit US$364M. Vessel sales in 2018 were also stronger, reaching US$211M. VesselsValue does not track fast support vessels or platform supply vessels 300 dwt and under in its S&P reporting.
VesselsValue noted only one OSV demolition sale in July, 1986-built anchor handling tug supply vessel Nan Hai. The price was not disclosed.
In August, two notable vessel transactions were announced by OSV owners. Oslo-listed vessel owner GC Rieber Shipping reported it had inked a deal to sell the intervention, maintenance and repair and construction vessel Polar King to an undisclosed buyer.
In a stock exchange announcement, GC Rieber Shipping said due to the sale, an impairment of approximately US$5M for Polar King was expected to be recognised as of 30 June 2020. The company plans to use the proceeds from the sale to repay the vessel’s outstanding debt in full.
Based on an ST-254 LCD design and built at Spain’s Freire Shipyard in 2011, Polar King is a multipurpose subsea vessel designed for operating in severe weather conditions with high manoeuvrability and station keeping capabilities.
With a length overall of 110.6 m, beam of 20 m and draught of 7.3 m, Polar King has a clear deck area of 960 m2, with accommodation for 112. The vessel has an ice class notation of ICE-C and is equipped with a 150-tonne active heave compensated offshore crane and two Work-class remotely operated vehicles. It is designed with environmental features for worldwide service, compliant with SPS 2008 and with Clean-Design and Green Passport notations.
Bergen-headquartered GC Rieber Shipping operates nine vessels and has direct and indirect ownership in 29 advanced special purpose vessels that operate within the subsea and renewables, ice/support and marine seismic segments.
Meanwhile, SBM Offshore is laying the groundwork for the sale of the dive support and construction vessel SBM Installer. Currently, the company has a 25% stake in the company holding the vessel, OSI Installer Limited. SBM Offshore has struck a deal with Ocean Yield to acquire the 75% interest in OSI Installer Limited for a cash consideration of US$30M. Subject to final documentation and approval, the transaction will close in Q3 2020.
OSI’s existing debt facility will remain in place, subject to lender approval.
SBM Installer is under long-term charter to SBM Offshore until 2026.