(Seattle – JULY 31, 2008) — Guido Perla & Associates, Inc. (GPA), a leading Naval Architecture and Marine, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Firm, headquartered in Seattle, Washington, is further expanding its international focus after opening an office in Shanghai, China in 2004, and has announced the establishment of a European subsidiary “Guido Perla Europe GmbH” (GPE GmbH) in Germany.
GPE GmbH will initially handle the sales, marketing and PR function, as well as existing customer support. ”The strategic decision to further expand GPA into Europe supports our vision of being a truly global player,” says Inga Scholz, General Manager of GPE GmbH. “Europe accounts for a major share in the maritime industry and we believe it to be vital for us to have a direct presence in such a key market.”
Since its foundation in 1979, GPA has provided a full range of services to include Conceptual and Preliminary Design, Bid Packages and Regulatory Design, Scientific/Engineering Analysis, Feasibility Studies, Production Engineering, Construction Management and Owner Representation, as well as Expert Witness Services. While GPA’s clientele is mainly US based, the company also enjoys a loyal customer base in the Asian, South American and European maritime market.
GPA’s extensive portfolio includes vessel types ranging from Platform Support Vessels (PSV), Fast Supply Vessels (FSV), Anchor Handling Tug Supply Vessels (AHTS), CNG Carriers, Tugs, Barges, Icebreakers, Cargo Vessels, Fast Pilot Boats, Ferries, Research Vessels, Fireboats, Navy Vessels, Fishing Vessels, Yachts, Excursion-, Cruise-, and Casino Vessels.
In the late 80s and early 90s, GPA got engaged in the global expansion of fishing vessel fleets and provided services to companies such as Schichau Seebeckwerft AG in Bremerhaven, Germany, and Ulstein Hatloe AS in Ulsteinvik, Norway, a relationship that resulted in the largest U.S.-flagged factory trawler “Alaska Ocean”.
In the 90s, GPA’s focus shifted from fishing vessel designs to providing services to the workboat and passenger vessel industry. GPA provided tug boat designs to major operators such as Crowley Maritime Corporation and Otto Candies and has consistently worked with different tug boat owners and shipyards to deliver a variety of designs.
Casino vessels like the Majestic Star, an innovative design at that time due to its enclosed bow, or paddle wheelers like the Empress of the North laid the foundation for long-lasting, prosperous relationships with shipyards such as Nichols Brothers Boat Builders or Bender Shipbuilding, one of the key shipyards in the construction of GPA-designed Offshore Vessels.
During the recent expansion in the offshore industry, GPA has, with about 140 GPA-designed vessels already or within the next three years serving the offshore industry, established the position as the global leader in the design of Next Generation Platform Support Vessels. GPA pioneered the use of Integrated Diesel-Electric Propulsion to offshore vessel designs, giving it the knowledge and experience to exploit the advantages and flexibility of the Diesel-Electric system by originating the concept of locating the engine room above the main deck as it did with the development of the GPA 654 PSV in 2003. The first of 10 of these innovative vessels was delivered by Bollinger in 2007 and led to the development of the GPA 654M PSV and GPA 254L AHTS designs, which have combined orders to date of 88 vessels worldwide using this concept. Locating the engine room above the main deck maximizes the below deck cargo carrying capacity of these vessels, creating capacities usually found in much larger vessels.
GPA has become especially well known as a result of high profile successes with leading offshore industry players such as French Marine Services Provider Groupe Bourbon, Rigdon Marine, Trico Marine, and Tidewater. GPA’s offshore designs include the award-winning GPA 654 PSV, several versions of the GPA 670 PSV, the GPA 640 PSV, the GPA 254L AHTS, the recently ordered GPA 696 IMR, and several other designs.
“We are proud to be associated with European key players such as Groupe Bourbon, considering them as one of our most prominent customers,” says Guido Perla, owner of GPA, GPA Shanghai and GPE GmbH, “and we are excited about further exploring the opportunities in the European market. In September, GPA is taking a new step and will be exhibiting at SMM Hamburg 2008 for the very first time. We are definitely looking forward to being part of the world’s largest Maritime Exhibition and meeting new companies and people at the show.”