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September 5, 2002

Brazil AHTS ahead of building schedule

Singapore's Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd's (Keppel O&M) subsidiary in Brazil, FELS Setal SA has laid the keel for the second Anchor Handling Tug / Supply vessel (AHTS) it is building for Brazilian offshore vessel operator, Delba Maritima Navegacao, two months ahead of schedule.

FELS Setal clinched the US$90 million contract for three AHTS in December last year amidst competition from nine other shipyards in Asia, Europe and Brazil. The three vessels are the first AHTS to be built in Brazil. Apart from its near-market advantage, FELS Setal says it won the contract on account of its high quality work, technical expertise, on-time delivery and environmental and safety track record.

At the keel-laying ceremony held today in FELS Setal's Brasfels Yard in Angra dos Reis, Choo Chiau Beng, chairman and CEO of Keppel O&M said, "I am happy to note that our construction of these AHTS is well ahead of schedule. "In the offshore industry, quality and on-time deliveries are paramount and in this respect, FELS Setal has won the confidence of reputable rig owners and operators in the region."

Chairman of Delba Maritima Newton Lins declared he was "most pleased with the execution of the job," adding, "I hope, in the near future to place other orders under FELS Setal's care."

The three AHTS, of the UT722 design by Rolls Royce Marine, are highly sophisticated multi-functional vessels to be used for supporting offshore platforms and FPSO's operating in the Campos Basin. They will be chartered to Petrobras for a period of eight years.

Each taking between 22 to 30 months to build, the first AHTS is scheduled for operations in the last quarter of 2003. Each AHTS has avery high winch capacity of between 300 to 500 metric tons and an installed horsepower from 12,000 bhp to 14,400 bhp. Measuring 76 m in length and 18 m in molded breadth, each vessel has bollard pulls of between 130 to 150 metric tons.

Meantime, the Brasfels yard's $75 million conversion of the tanker Stena Concordia into the Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel (FPSO), P-48, for Halliburton Produtos Ltda, a subsidiary of Kellogg Brown & Root, is in progress.

The vessel is presently undergoing drydock work, which is expected to take 70 days.

Delba Maritima is owned by Brazilian entrepreneur Newton Lins and French offshore vessel operator, SURF, a subsidiary of Groupe Bourbon. FELS Setal is a joint venture between Keppel Offshore & Marine and the PEM Setal Group of Brazil.

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