Keppel Shipyard inks $735 million deal for FLNGV conversion

JULY 3, 2014—Singapore’s Keppel Shipyard Ltd (Keppel Shipyard), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has inked a $735 million contract with Golar Hilli Corporation, a subsidiary of Golar LNG Ltd, to convert the 125,000 m3 Moss type LNG carrier Hilli into a Floating Liquefaction Vessel (FLNGV).

In carrying out the first-of-a-kind FLNGV conversion, Keppel Shipyard will be responsible for the provision of the design, detailed engineering and procurement of the marine systems and all of the conversion-related construction services. Keppel Shipyard's scope also includes engaging Black & Veatch to provide design, procurement and commissioning support services for the topsides and liquefaction process. Black & Veatch's proven PRICO technology has been selected for the liquefaction process.

This contract, which includes options for another two similar units, follows the completion of a year-long Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) study by Keppel Shipyard and Black & Veatch. The FEED study was conducted as part of the terms of a term sheet agreement with Golar to convert up to three LNG carriers into FLNG vessels.

The conversion has been approved in principle by DNV GL. The FLNGV will take about 31 months to convert and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2017.

Michael Chia, Managing Director (Marine & Technology), Keppel O&M, says, "The FEED study for Golar has come into fruition with the award of the world's first FLNG conversion project to Keppel Shipyard. We are excited to collaborate with trend-setting partners such as Golar and Black & Veatch. Keppel Shipyard had successfully delivered to Golar the world's first Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) back in 2008, which was followed by two more similar units.

"It is an honor to be entrusted once again by Golar with this definitive FLNG vessel, which reaffirms Keppel's leadership in complex offshore conversion projects. We see this project as another excellent opportunity to offer innovative solutions to help address the growing midstream needs in bringing small and mid-scale LNG to market to meet the rising global demand for energy. Mid-sized FLNG solutions such as this one offer a faster and more cost effective liquefaction solution."

According to the Douglas-Westwood World FLNG Market Forecast, the global FLNG industry is expected to attract more than $65 billion of investments through to 2020, driven by rising costs of onshore LNG terminals. Asia-Pacific, in particular, is expected to draw a majority of investments in the FLNG sector with its sizeable line-up of regasification and liquefaction projects.

Detailed design and engineering activities will commence shortly, and the Hilli will be delivered to Keppel Shipyard within 2014 to initiate renewal of key marine systems onboard the vessel while the manufacturing of topsides commences.