A SOUTHAMPTON shipping firm has won a design contact for two 25-metre fast boats.

BMT Nigel Gee has designed the four-engine boat for ARCO Marine and Oilfield Services along with Penguin Shipyard International, a subsidiary of Singapore-based crewboat builder and operator, Penguin International Limited.

Penguin is building the two 70-passenger Fast Crew Boats for deployment in Nigeria’s offshore oil and gas industry. Delivery of the vessels is expected later this year.

Ed Dudson, technical director at BMT Nigel Gee, said: “We’ve worked with Penguin Shipyard International previously on a project to design and build three high-speed passenger catamarans for the Shipping Corporation of India but this is the first for the oil and gas sector, an area where Penguin is particularly strong.”

ARCO Marine had presented a challenging requirement for a fast crew transfer vessel that offers high fuel efficiency, along with maximum reliability and availability.

An additional challenge was posed by the design of the hull, which had to be specifically configured to match the existing infrastructure of the oil field.

BMT worked closely with Penguin throughout the tender process to develop a cost-effective design that fully matched ARCO Marine’s exacting requirements.

The result is a highly flexible and economical design that will enable ARCO Marine to further expand their range of services, in support of Nigeria’s burgeoning offshore sector.

Each vessel can accommodate four crew members for four days, has a range of over 600 nautical miles and a maximum speed in excess of 30 knots. Above the deck, the design incorporates a wheelhouse that has good all-round visibility for maximum safety in the oilfield and a fire monitor on the upper deck superstructure.

Each vessel can also carry up to four tonnes of deck cargo.