Siem Offshore’s anchor-handling tug supply vessels continue to home in on Australia.

The Oslo-listed offshore vessel owner announced on Tuesday that two of its AHTS vessels, the 28,000-bhp Siem Amethyst (built 2011) and the Siem Aquamarine (built 2010) would being working for a “major operator in Australia” later this year.

Chief executive Bernt Omdal told TradeWinds the two ships have been working in the Australian market "quite a long time now" and that the region continues to be a source of strength for the company.

He declined to go into detail on rates.

In its first quarter earnings release, the Kristian Siem-backed company said India and Australia helped boost earnings and utilisation for its AHTS fleet “in a period that is normally challenging”, even as the North Sea market struggled.

More recently, even the market there has turned up, with Norwegian shipbroker Seabrokers reporting AHTS rates in the North Sea ranging from £31,000 per day to £32,000 per day.

Siem Offshore owns 10 AHTS vessels and the segment is its second-largest in terms of revenue, bringing in $19m, behind only subsea vessels and their $44m.

Earlier this month, Pareto Securities tipped the company to start paying out dividends following refinancing of its debt maturities coming due at the end of 2024.

The bank said improving rates appears to make refinancing a “uncomplicated” proposition and would open the door for shareholder payouts.

In midday trading on Tuesday, Siem Offshore shares were up NOK 0.40, or 1.9%, to NOK 21.30.