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Multi Million Pound Investment Creates 120 Jobs

Continued investment in Craig Group fleet.

Global shipping and energy services firm, the Craig Group, has announced a multi million pound investment in four new emergency response and rescue vessels. (ERRVs)

It is anticipated that the new vessels have the potential to create an additional 120 jobs in the North Sea marine industry.

Managed by North Star Shipping, a division of the Craig Group, the brand new vessels have been earmarked to replace older tonnage.

The investment also represents a continued drive by the Group to operate the largest British wholly-owned fleet engaged in the UK Offshore Industry.

It also reflects a confidence in the continued growth of the business and consolidates previous investments in the fleet over the last seven years.

This latest announcement is in addition to the £130 million investment program by Craig Group, which began in 2003 and will have delivered sixteen new vessels by the end of 2010.

Scheduled for delivery in the next two years, the four ERRVs will be built at the Balenciaga Shipyard, Northern Spain. The Balenciaga Shipyard has previously delivered twelve vessels to North Star Shipping, with three of these currently under construction.

At present the fleet stands at 30 vessels and includes a mix of Offshore Support, ROV Survey and Emergency Response and Rescue Vessels.

The four new ERRVs will be designated NSS-IMT 950s and each will be equipped with one or two daughter craft and one fast rescue craft.

Leading providers of Offshore Support, ROV Survey and ERRVs, North Star Shipping aims to supply the most efficient, modern and cost-effective fleet for customers operating in the North Sea and internationally.

Douglas Craig, chairman and managing director of Craig Group said:

“Our continued commitment to the expansion and ongoing modernization of the fleet reinforces our strategy of providing clients with a service based on safety and quality. The creation of more than 100 jobs in the UKCS marine sector is welcome news for the wider industry.”

Emergency response and rescue vessels have advanced greatly and today provide frontline cover for thousands of workers in one of the harshest environments in the world and are essential for the support of offshore operations particularly where mass evacuation of an installation is required. The vessels also provide other vital services, such as anti-collision surveillance, pollution control / oil recovery, emergency towage and tanker and assist duties.

North Star Shipping managing director, Callum Bruce, said:

“Our core market continues to be buoyant and we are meeting the needs of our customers by providing the most modern emergency response and rescue vessels, fitted with the latest technology. These new vessels will exceed our customers’ expectations in terms of safety, operability and efficiency.”