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Gorleston Seajacks to double its fleet

PUBLISHED: 11:10 03 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:55 30 June 2010

The fast-growing Gorleston engineering business behind two giant "lift-boats" used to erect offshore wind turbines has signed a design deal to double its fleet.

The fast-growing Gorleston engineering business behind two giant "lift-boats" used to erect offshore wind turbines has signed a design deal to double its fleet.

Gorleston-based Seajacks has commissioned Dutch design group GustoMSC to draw up plans for "two or more" new vessels before selecting a shipyard to build them.

The move to expand the Seajacks fleet comes just weeks after the sale of the firm to the American private equity group Riverstone Holdings for £130m.

Riverstone pledged at the time of the deal to invest "substantial amount of new capital" into the business.

Seajacks said it hoped the first of the new vessels would be built and delivered in the first three months of 2012.

Seajack's existing pair of giant self-elevating lift boats, Leviathan and Kraken, can be used as mobile maintenance and construction platforms for offshore wind farms.

While Kraken is about to start work on the construction of the Walney windfarms in the Irish Sea in a £48m contract with Dong Energy, its sister ship Leviathan is working on the Greater Gabbard windfarm off the Suffolk and Essex coast in a £39m deal with Fluor.

The move to expand the fleet also follows the announcement by the Crown Estate of the award of nine offshore windfarm licences. Among the new windfarms will be the "East Anglian Array" - a windfarm of about 1,000 turbines about 15 miles offshore from Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. Seajacks was founded in 2006 by energy industry veteran Blair Ainslie and Norwegian investors and was quoted on the Oslo stock exchange.

Seajacks managing director Blair Ainslie said: "We are very excited about the additions to Seajacks' fleet and look forward to offering this new generation of purpose built vessels to our clients.

"The new vessels will facilitate faster and more efficient installation of turbines and foundations offshore, and provide us with an excellent platform for expansion into other aspects of this growth industry."

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