By Foluso Ogunsan
The Nigerian flagged vessel, African Inspiration sailed into the country’s waters on February 15, 2015. The 113 metre long multipurpose service vessel, owned by the Nigerian oil and gas subsea service firm Marine Platforms, has a Gross Tonnage of 5000tonnes, with firefighting capability. The facility’s main crane, which is 3000 metre long, has an active heave compensation of 250tonnes. There’s a smaller 20 tonne capacity crane. The vessel has the capacity to accommodate 120 persons on board. It sailed in with two (2) 200HP Remote operated vessels (ROVs).
African Inspiration was constructed by the Havyard group in Havyard Shipyard, located in the maritime cluster in the north west of Norway. “The last valuation done on the vessel put it at $135 million dollars value-worth”, says Taofik Adegbite, Marine Platforms’ Chief Executive Officer. “A ship is always more expensive when it’s out of the yard than when you start building it, reason being the 18-24 month duration period it takes to build”. The vessel was meant to have a construction period of 16 months “but we didn’t get out of the yard till after 18 months due to financial constraints of meeting the payment timelines, hence our shifting from September till November, 2014”.
African Inspiration will be Marine Platforms’ second vessel. The company’s first such facility, the $100Million African Vision, was commissioned in 2010. It carried out brief support works for (the French major) TOTAL’s Akpo field, Exxon Mobil’s Erha and (Shell subsidiary) SNEPCO’s Bonga North West field, supporting the Saipem Heavy Construction Vessel, before starting a long term subsea installation, repair and maintenance on SNEPCO’s main Bonga field. Marine Platforms, which was founded in 2001, specialises in subsea construction, life of field services, ROV operations, engineering support, supply vessel operations and well bore clean-up.
“We’re now looking at maintenance infrastructure, for local maintenance of these vessels”, says Adegbite. “We acquired sizeable land in Onne (near the eastern Nigerian oil port city of Port Harcourt) where we’re looking at a support yard and we’re now looking at the Lagos waterways all the way to Calabar where we can situate a service yard for the vessels. Also we are not foreclosing on working with the existing yards such as Nigerdock, LADOL, Naval Dockyard, WASK in Onne. We’re looking at Joint Venture or strategic alliance”.
A fuller text of interview with Adegbite is published in the February 2015 edition of Africa Oil+Gas Report.