Aberdeen firm Craig Group to invest £50m in new vessels

Image of a new platform supply vessel the Craig Group will build The new platform supply vessels will support Talisman Energy’s North Sea operations

Shipping and energy services firm Craig Group is to invest £50m in new vessels, after securing a major contract with Canadian company Talisman Energy.

Under the deal, Craig Group division North Star Shipping will build two new platform supply vessels to support Talisman's North Sea operations.

The Aberdeen-based firm said the five-year contract would create 50 new jobs.

The vessels will be built at the Balenciaga Shipyard in Northern Spain and are due for delivery in 2013.

Craig Group said the deal would increase the size of its fleet to 37 and reinforce its position as the largest wholly UK-owned offshore support fleet.

North Star managing director Callum Bruce said: "The award of this contract secures our position at the forefront in the provision of vessels in the North Sea.

"Our major investment in state-of-the-art vessels supports the UK offshore industry and its employees, as well as showing our continuing support to British shipping."

Last month, Craig Group announced a 30% increase in operating profits for the year ending in April 2011.

It recorded turnover of £111.9m, with operating profits of £13m.

This was up on the previous year when turnover was just over £92m and profits were £10m.

The company said at the time it had seen "steady growth" across all its divisions, primarily due to a pick-up in oil and gas markets.

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