A. K. Suda, Inc. is a firm of naval architects and marine engineers providing design and engineering services to the maritime industry. It has designed some of the largest, most sophisticated, and most well-known liftboats in the world. The firm has
probably designed the largest number of completed, large liftboats in the USA. Its latest creation involves a 320 3-legged liftboat for Semco shipyard. According to Mr. Ajay Suda, the vessel will, when completed receive ABS MODU Restricted Service certification as well as USCG Subchapter I-A/L. It is also believed to incorporate the largest dwt/displacement ratio (a measure of merit in ROI) vessel of its type. "The selection of the parameters is complemented by a streamlined deep chine form with a complementing bowthruster pod. One of the secrets of success of this project is the excellent working relationship, not only between the yard and the designer, but also with SEATRAX, the designer and manufacturer of the behemoth cranes. The uniqueness of these cranes lies in their patented design and ease of operation, wrapped around the forward legs. This helps to provide an even larger unobstructed working area than would have been possible with a vessel of this size.
The design parameters allow this vessel to not only work as an oil exploration support services vessel, but also in wind energy support services. The vessel can carry components of an entire windmill at a time" said Suda.
First of all, could you give us some details about your company's operations and fields of business?
A. K. Suda, Inc., along with its sister company A. K. Suda, Ltd., is a firm of naval architects and marine engineers providing design engineering services to the maritime industry.
The firm has designed/retrofitted a variety of vessels including:
Heavy Lift Vessels, Tugs, Ferries, Jackup Rigs/Lift Boats, Dredges, Passenger Vessels, Pipe Laying Barges, Floating Docks, Gaming Vessels, Anchor Handling Tugs, Research Vessels, Yachts/Luxury Boats, Offshore Supply Vessels and Tankers.
We have been pioneers in various designs, particularly the modern liftboat.
The firm has designed some of the largest and most well-known liftboats in the world, including:
"ΆΒ Β Β First U.S. Coast Guard approved liftboat
"ΆΒ Β Β Original designer and engineer of the Searex vessels, a 260"² lattice leg self-propelled, self-elevating work boat, including the famous Trident Crusader
"ΆΒ Β Β Recently finished design of what will be the world's largest liftboat, a 320"² leg vessel
"ΆΒ Β Β Currently developing a 400"² leg liftboat
Our designs have consistently won peer recognition.
We have not only done our own designs, but have assisted yards in optimizing existing designs.Β For owners, we have helped increase the carrying capacities of existing vessels and securing class approval.
Who are you main customers and how do you ensure quality of service?
Our clients are both shipyards and ship owners world wide.
Suda has engineered total quality management into every process and product.
The company's assets are its human resources and the development of true professionalism is the core of the quality management effort.
You recently launched a three-legged liftboat, which from what we can tell is the world's largest. Can you tell us what the ship's specifications are, what it can provide its owner and who your first client will be for such a vessel?
The design is ours, but it was launched by our client, the shipyard Semco LLC of Lafitte, Lousiana, USA. There are many uses for a liftboat.Β Many liftboats work as oil exploration support vessels, but there has been increased interest in using these vessels in wind energy support services.
Do you think that such vessels will be in high demand in the future?
As the demand for alternative energies increases, we feel that the demand for the modern liftboat will also increase.
How is demand shaping up for your products so far this year?
Demand has remained steady for us. However, the industry overall has seen a decline in demand due to the downturn of the world economic climate and the moratorium on deep water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
Would you say that the crisis in the shipping business is close to its completion?
Although we have not seen the affects of the shipping business crisis, we have seen the wide-spread affects of the drilling moratoriumΒ on the business in this area.Β Our sincere hope is that the damage is short term.
How did the crisis affect A.K. Suda?
Due to our outstanding reputation, demand for our services has not diminished.Β However, many companies are more conservative with regards to launching new projects.
Will you be expanding to new markets or regions in the near future?
Our company has supported clients around the globe from the U.S., to Europe, the Middle East, Near East and Far East.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide