Two anchor handling tugs sold by a Norwegian offshore support vessel (OSV) owner Siem Offshore will be converted into emergency towage ships
The anchor handling tug and supply (AHTS) vessels will be retrofitted to respond to distressed ships off France from next year to replace two elderly emergency towage vessels (ETVs) operated by Abeilles International for the French Government.
Abeille parent company Econocom acquired Siem Garnet and Siem Diamond in June to replace 1978-built Abeille Flandre, which is based in Toulon on the Mediterranean coast, and another 1977-built Abeille vessel, based in Normandy.
Sister publication, Offshore Support Journal, reported the sale of these two 2010-built AHTS vessels mid-June 2021.
Siem Offshore sold these ships to reduce debt and its fleet to eight anchor handlers. It delivered Siem Diamond to the buyer on 18 June, after which it was mobilised from Bergen, Norway to Le Havre, France by 21 June, according to AIS data. AHTS Siem Garnet was already in the French port by 17 June, according to AIS.
Siem Offshore said it was selling the vessels to reduce debt to US$104.6M. “This sale is done on market terms and at book values,” Siem Offshore said.
“Surplus cash after debt repayment on the two vessels sold will be used for additional debt repayment on the eight remaining AHTS vessels in accordance with the restructuring plan agreed with our secured lenders.”
On 29 June, Siem Offshore chief financial officer Dagfinn B Lie resigned after 14 years with the company. He will continue working in the position until 30 September 2021.
Other OSVs have been sold out of the global market into other industries, such as supporting acquaculture.
For example, In late 2020, Norwegian operator Eidsvaag took delivery of fish feed carrier Eidsvaag Opal, a former PSV that was converted by Damen Ship Repair Amsterdam.
A major project, the eight-year-old vessel was extended by 5 m after the hull was cut in two and new sections inserted, requiring 875 tonnes of steel for the conversion.
Riviera Maritime Media will provide free technical and operational webinars in 2021. Sign up to attend on our events page