Financiers flock to wind farm workboat

Mon, 06 February 2012

Adjacent to Tower Bridge on London’s River Thames, St Katherine’s Dock is very much in the City of London and financiers had only to travel a few blocks for their first sighting of an offshore wind farm support vessel.

The UK currently leads the world in offshore wind farm implementation, a fact the money men would be well aware of, but they are perhaps less familiar with the tools of the trade and their potential for profitability. Few would have guessed, for example, that a three year old wind farm boat is now worth considerably more than its original purchase price.

But the numbers tell stories that make financiers happy and it is in this context that industry leader South Boats and Iceni Marine Services had the foresight to host a well attended viewing of their latest LS Wind Farm Service Vessel, the 17m Iceni Defiant, in the bankers’ back yard on Monday.

The event was attended by key personnel from the offshore wind power industry, including the main energy companies such as Scottish & Southern Energy, which has given Iceni Defiant its first contract, city banks and finance houses which help to fund the construction of such vessels, engine suppliers Scania and water jet suppliers Rolls-Royce.

Following the completion of successful sea trials in Southampton Water last Friday, Iceni Defiant was handed over to Great Yarmouth based Iceni Marine Services and sailed to St Katherine’s Dock prior to the vessel commencing work on the Great Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm yesterday.

On Monday South Boats’ customer finance manager Peter Curtis said, “Today is a great opportunity for the financial community to understand the huge opportunities available in the offshore wind sector and to see first hand the quality of South Boats' aluminium catamaran work boats. We are delighted that Ken Turner and the team at Iceni Marine Services were able to bring their latest vessel, Iceni Defiant, into the heart of the City of London for such a unique event.”

Iceni Defiant is a South Catamaran 17m WFSV LS, custom designed to fit the locks at Grimsby and is the third vessel constructed for Iceni Maritime Services by South Boats. The fourth, Iceni Pride, is a 13m Fast Response Vessel, currently under construction at the South Boats yard on the Isle of Wight. It will be launched on 18 March 2012.

Monday was made even more special for both companies as they announced an order for two South Catamaran 24m WFSVs for Iceni.

South Boats’ sales and technical director Ben Colman concluded, "We are delighted to extend our relationship with Ken, Richard and Guy at Iceni Marine Services and look forward to fulfilling this new contract and marking a milestone in the success of both company’s past and future ambitions.”


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