Mexico's Pemex has held a keel-laying ceremony for the first of 22 vessels that will make up part of its 3.4 billion peso ($264 milllion) fleet-renewal programme, the company said.
The boats will be built in Mexico and are promised to create 8000 domestic jobs. The units will be built with "high" local content including steel plate projected to make up 40% of unit costs.
The programme means "Mexico's marine construction industry is reactivated after a quarter-century of no vessel being built for Pemex in our country," the company said in a statement.
Jose Manuel Carrera said the construction push corresponds to President Enrique Pena Nieto's "commitment to strengthen the naval industry."
In April Mexican shipbuilder Talleres Navales del Golfo cut first steel on an initial tug in the programme, one of one of several players in cooperation agreements with Spanish shipyard Hijos de J Barreras and Navantia.
Pemex acquired a controlling stake in the Galicia-based company last year, and subsequently awarded a contract for two flotel units.
The tug to be built by TNG will be the first vessel constructed by the yard since 1993, and the first of seven such units that are due for delivery in the middle of next year.