Suffolk maritime company snaps up huge sea platform with living quarters

Ipswich's Red7Marine's latest jack-up barge, which includes living quarters

The Haven SeaChallenger platform which has been bought by Red7Marine - Credit: Costain

An Ipswich maritime company has invested in a giant live-aboard sea platform as it expands its operations to meet growing demand across a number of markets.

Red7Marine at Wherstead now has 12 jack-up barges in its fleet. The latest major investment is the 1,000t Haven SeaChallenger which it bought for an undisclosed sum. The giant monohull jack-up barge has a 50m by 24m deck and a leg length of 55m.

The company said that despite a challenging market, it was continuing to invest and grow as it expands it offering to its core nearshore marine infrastructure and renewable energy markets.

Managing director Kristen Branford said: “This is a really exciting time for Red7Marine. By purchasing the Haven SeaChallenger, we are ready to take on bigger projects with an enhanced capability. This will open greater market share for the business and is an investment which will grow our core business activity as well as open new doors.”

The company says there is ever-growing demand for nuclear power, renewable energy, port infrastructure, coastal protection and flood defences and alleviation schemes and it has also moved into new markets focusing on projects that combat key issues in the industry including climate change, energy supply and environmental protection.

It owns and operates barges ranging from 100t to 1000t in size, with its latest acquisition giving it more flexibility.

The “live aboard” option on the Haven Sea Challenger could be key for projects where crew transfers are costly and time-consuming, it said, and will be essential in meeting the company’s goal of moving into renewable markets and to offer support on large marine infrastructure projects.

Chief executive Nick Offord said the purchase of the barge was already opening up new markets. 

“2021 has already been a great year for Red7Marine and our team. We are excited to announce the purchase of the Haven SeaChallenger and to start developing opportunities with clients,” he said.

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“This past year has been about making ourselves stronger, since our founding in 1999, we have continually built our reputation as the UK’s marine partner of choice. The purchase of this 1,000t jack-up barge is a significant milestone that we feel extremely proud of, highlighting the growth of the business in an unpredictable market.

“We are already in discussions regarding several future projects for the Haven SeaChallenger and look forward to seeing where the barges’ first charter will be.”

Mr Offord and business development manager Sophie Willcock have recently been elected directors of the International Jack-up Barge Operators Association, taking over its running from John and Lucy Howard. The association aims to set and promote standards for the safe and effective operation of self-elevating platforms throughout the world.

New chairman Mr Offord says he hopes to challenge the marine industry to raise the bar.

“As one of the founding members, this was a position I was proud to take on. Throughout my position, I hope we can work to create further guidance and provide even more support to jack-up barge operators and associated stakeholders on an international level.”


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