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Progress for firm's expansion plans

PUBLISHED: 13:52 25 June 2010 | UPDATED: 18:06 30 June 2010

A rapidly expanding energy industry firm has announced a key step on the way to its current ambitious growth plans.

Seajacks, which is based at Great Yarmouth, has entered into a contract with Lamprell in Dubai to construct the company's third self-propelled jackup vessel.

A rapidly expanding energy industry firm has announced a key step on the way to its current ambitious growth plans.

Seajacks, which is based at Great Yarmouth, has entered into a contract with Lamprell in Dubai to construct the company's third self-propelled jackup vessel.

The jackups are designed to service the windfarm installation market in the harsh operating environment

of the North Sea, as well as to

provide services to the oil and gas sectors.

The ship will be called Seajacks Zaratan and will join the Seajacks Kraken and Seajacks Leviathan, which have been busy recently working at the Walney offshore windfarm in the Irish Sea and the Greater Gabbard, one of the world's largest windfarms under construction off the Suffolk coast.

A fourth jackup should be built in the near future, with the Zaratan ready by May 2012 and its new sister boat shortly after.

Seajacks has a turnover of £54m, but with its fleet doubled, that figure should rise.

The business was bought by American private equity firm Riverstone Holdings in a multi- million deal earlier this year and at the time fleet expansion was identified as an important target.

The Riverstone deal came just weeks after the announcement by the Crown Estate of the award of nine offshore windfarm licences.

Zaratan will be a modified version of an existing design and will be larger than Seajacks' existing vessels and so able to carry more equipment.

It will be capable of installing wind turbines and foundations in water depths up to 55 metres and will provide accommodation for 90 people.

Blair Ainslie, managing director of Seajacks, said: “We are very excited to announce the construction of Zaratan and look forward to

providing this new generation of purpose-built vessels to our clients.

“These vessels will facilitate faster and more efficient installation of turbines and foundations offshore, and establish us as one of the major contractors in this growth

industry.”

The contract with Lamprell also provides an option to build one additional vessel.

Blair Ainslie and Seajacks feature in the EDP's Future50 entrepreneurial companies to watch in future. Visit www.edp24.co.uk/future50.

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