KUALA LUMPUR: Perdana Petroleum Bhd has acquired two accommodation work barges (AWB) from Nam Cheong Ltd for US$84mil (RM270mil), for delivery in 2016, with an option to acquire two additional units.
The new vessels, which the company claimed to be the first of its kind in the country, will be equipped with a 300-tonne work crane and accomodation for 500 men.
This will allow the company to undertake major maintenance and support work at offshore production platforms.
“We will look out for potential contracts in Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and are also open to opportunities if they arise in the Middle East,” Perdana Petroleum managing director Capt Surya Hidayat said.
Perdana Petroleum expects the first AWB to be delivered in the first quarter of 2016 and the second one in the second quarter of the same year. It has the option to buy two additional AWBs.
He said it could get the two extra AWBs in the third and last quarter of 2016.
Offshore support vessels providers are building more sophisticated vessels that can provide value-added services and perform complex maintenance work to boost margins, amid growing competition in the industry.
Rivals such as Alam Maritim Resources Bhd recently acquired a dedicated diving support vessel, targeting more lucrative maintenance contracts.
But buying newer and bigger vessel is an expensive business.
Perdana Petroleum will fund the purchase through internally-generated funds and bank borrowings.
Executive director Datuk Henry Kho said Perdana Petroleum’s current gross gearing was at one time and expected it to remain at a similar level as it is only required to pay 20% upfront while the remaining would be paid upon delivery.
At the meantime, the company was able to generate strong cashflow from its existing long-term contracts.
“We are committed to keep our gearing level at 1 times to 1.5 times,” he told reporters after signing a memorandum of understanding with builder Nam Cheong Ltd.
Perdana Petroleum’s current orderbook stands at RM1.3bil that will last them for the next three to five years.
Surya estimated the company’s topline to grow 20% each year for the next two to three years, supported by its on-going fleet expansion plans.
“Another vessel will be delivered by this year-end, which will contribute positively to our earnings next year,” he said, adding that
He added that of its contracts, most of them were long-term jobs that last for three to five years.
Dayang Enterprise Holdings Bhd, which owns some 24% in Perdana Petroleum, charters five to six vessels out of its fleet of 17.
The 500-men AWBs with a 300 tonnes crane capacity are the largest to be built by Singapore-listed Nam Cheong.
With different specifications, Perdana Petroleum is also able to offer a different product to its clients.
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