(EnergyAsia, June 1 2011, Wednesday) — PaxOcean Engineering Zhoushan Co Ltd of Singapore has signed a letter of intent to build a 415WC jack-up mobile offshore unit for Texas, US-based Levingston Corporation, with an option for an additional similar vessel for an undisclosed contract value.

Levingston said the MOU will be the world’s largest lift-boat with 137m of legs, an open deck area of 1,700 sq m, a net deck load capacity of 1,500 metric tonnes with accommodations for 100 personnel including navigation crew. This vessel follows in the footsteps of the Levingston 320E, the world’s current largest liftboat.

Levingston said it has delivered three of a six-vessel contract based on the 320E design with the remaining deliveries scheduled to be completed June 2012.

The 415WC vessel will have the fastest, high capacity Levingston-EBI 12-tooth pinion jacking system along with the Levingston-RAM Leg Encircling Crane with 300 metric tonne capacity. This vessel will be designed to work in harsh environments and with this design the accommodations may be increased to meet additional customer’s needs.

Levingston said that if required, the MOU will be provided with the option of a modular workover and drilling facility (mounted on a cantilever structure) to support offshore workover operations. The cantilever will be equipped with a workover and drilling equipment package, and hydraulically skidded out of the bow of the vessel.

When the vessel is not required to be in workover operation mode, the cantilever structure shall be removed to onshore storage. Alternatively, modular workover and drilling equipment can be set on the platform using the 415WC’s crane if the customer does not use cantilever beams.

Ken Serigne, CEO of EBI, said:

“We are pleased to jointly announce the start of the new generation of liftboats. Through our long-term relationship with Levingston, we have developed the new industry standard in world-class liftboat design. In combination with Levingston and using EBI’s proven jacking system, this will bring a new level of versatility for the offshore industry. Using our jacking system, the Levingston 415WC will simply be the fastest, high capacity liftboat in the world. It is greatly gratifying to see this accomplishment.”

Ronald Sanders, CEO and chairman of Levingston, said:

“It is a great day to announce the start of a new era for the American inspired liftboat industry and more specifically the Louisiana inspired liftboat industry. It gives me a great sense of pride to see this evolutionary and revolutionary liftboat industry well accepted in the world offshore industry. Along with our alliance partners, we will continue to be the world leader in liftboat technologies. We are extremely pleased to be working with PaxOcean to build the Levingston 415WC.”

PaxOcean will build the vessels at its 173-acre Zhoushan shipyard in China which has fabrication areas, dry dock facilities, overhead cranes and full yard features.  Zhoushan Island is located about 17 nautical miles from Yangshan Port in Shanghai.