Gulf Marine Services (GMS), a provider of self-propelled self-elevating support vessels (SESVs), has won two charter awards in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
GMS said on Tuesday that it secured a 24-month contract for a mid-size class vessel and a 16-month contract extension for a small class vessel.
At the end of April, these awards helped increas the backlog to $181.2 million from $171.9 million at the end of last December.
A large class vessel also recently started a 26-month charter for renewables work in Europe, and will be joined later this quarter by another large class vessel for a 15-month charter to the same client.
According to the company, levels of inquiries and tenders are continuing to increase in the group’s principal markets. All of GMS’ large and mid-size class vessels are now contracted. The utilization rate for the core fleet of 13 SESVs was 64% for 1Q 2018.
Utilization for the fleet is expected to improve over 2018 through a combination of several vessels being already mobilized onto new charters and a continued recovery in demand.
Duncan Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of GMS, said: “Against the background of continuing relative strength in the oil price, we are making satisfactory progress in recovering our utilization levels and strengthening our relationships with key strategic clients in the wider MENA region.
“We would hope to see a progressive improvement in charter rates as market capacity begins to tighten in 2019 and beyond, and a more substantial improvement in our results, benefiting from our high operational gearing.”
The group’s net debt level at the end of April 2018 was $398.2 million compared to $372.8 million at the end of December with increased working capital requirements and expenditure incurred on mobilizing vessels for new contracts.