Edison Chouest Withdraws Title XI Application

ECO Edison is being built at LaShip in Houma, La. for delivery in 2024 (Photo: Orsted)
ECO Edison is being built at LaShip in Houma, La. for delivery in 2024 (Photo: Orsted)

An affiliate of Edison Chouest Offshore has withdrawn its application for financing under the U.S. Maritime Administration's (MARAD) Title XI program.

Title XI is a government loan program with the Federal Financing Bank as the lender. It is intended to promote the growth and modernization of the United States' merchant fleet and shipyards by offering repayment terms and interest rates that are generally better than those available from the commercial lending market.

ECO Edison, LLC (formerly Win Wind, LLC) in November 2022 applied for $90 million for the construction of the United States' first purpose-built service operation vessel (SOV) to operate in support of the offshore wind industry in the U.S. Northeast. The vessel, ECO Edison, is being constructed at Chouest's LaShip shipyard in Houma, La. for scheduled delivery this year.

MARAD's website shows the application as being withdrawn as of mid-February 2024.

An executive at Edison Chouest Offshore told MarineLink that the company withdrew its application because Title XI did not provide better terms than what was available in the commercial market, but declined to comment further.

MARAD did not return MarineLink's request for comment.

Meanwhile, a Title XI application submitted in January 2023 by another Edison Chouest affiliate Offshore Wind Support, LLC, is shown as being complete and under review. The $95,156,250 loan would support the construction of a first-of-its-kind, plug-in hybrid SOV. Again, the vessel will be built at LaShip to support offshore wind in the Northeast.

The Title XI program is of particular importance for the U.S. offshore wind industry. In June 2022, MARAD designated vessels used in construction, service and/or maintenance of offshore wind facilities as "vessels of national interest", giving these applications processing priority for Title XI support. Companies such as Windea CTV, Crowley and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock currently have Title XI applications under review for new vessels to support offshore wind.

Recent Title XI rule changes made by MARAD in late 2023 aim to “attract a higher volume of high-quality applicants and mitigate risk to the U.S. government” by introducing greater flexibility and removing potential barriers for applicants.

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