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Southern Star Finds Work After Fugro Charter Termination

The subsea operation vessel Southern Star recently arrived at the Anjung gas development project, offshore Sarawak, East Malaysia, and underwent inspections to head up critical shutdown work.

The vessel went on hire to Shelf Subsea Solutions on the first of this month and sailed from Johor on Sunday 5th May, to the Malaysian oil major Petronas’ field, after loading project cargo and ROVs.

The two year old Southern Star was selected for the project because of its DP3 Dynamic positioning systems, 300msw Saturation diving system and 150 tonne SWL active heave compensated subsea crane, which will all be deployed in the installation of subsea equipment and flowlines from hub drive systems the charterer has installed onboard.

The vessel will operate in DP3 mode during the installation, and will deploy both saturation and air divers along with ROVs during execution of the work.

The planned shutdown activities and flowline installations are scheduled to take a number of weeks, and will be followed by a programme of other scheduled projects.

The new charter follows the return of the vessel to its owners by previous charterers Fugro, some 22 months into a six year contract.

The vessel had been almost continuously employed by Fugro on some 11 projects in Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia during its charter.

In March, Fugro handed back the long-term charter Southern Star claiming serious technical failures and grave design flaws as the reason.

John Giddens, CEO of the vessel owners, Tasik Subsea, said: “We were shocked and saddened at the state of our almost new vessel when it was handed back by Fugro. The efforts by our staff, new charterer and trusted contractors to return it to peak condition in such a short time have been outstanding.

“Sadly, we were left with little choice this week but to issue a Notice of Defamation demanding an unreserved retraction of the statement that Fugro issued about the Southern Star, which was clearly made to support its efforts to wriggle out of its six year long bare boat charter for purely commercial reasons.”

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