Singapore’s Keppel O&M (Keppel O&M) is close to delivering the world’s first converted floating liquefaction vessel (FLNGV), three years after securing the contract from Golar LNG Ltd.
The FLNGV, formerly known as Hilli, was named Hilli Episeyo at a Sunday (2 July) ceremony in Keppel Shipyard. Upon completion, it will be put in operation offshore Kribi, Cameroon for Société Nationale des Hydrocarbures and Perenco Cameroon SA, and will be the first FLNGV project in Africa.
Hilli Episeyo is designed for a liquefaction capacity of 2.4 million tonnes of LNG per annum. Formerly a 1975-built Moss LNG carrier with a storage capacity of 125,000m3, the conversion involved adding sponsons on both sides of the hull. This houses the topside equipment, which comprises pre-treatment systems, four single mixed refrigerant liquefaction trains, as well as boil-off gas compression and offloading equipment.
Oscar Spieler, CEO of Golar LNG, called Hilli Episeyo “a game changer in the LNG industry with its fast track, low cost project execution.”
“We are uniquely positioned to take on projects also in a low commodity price environment and determined to enable unlocking of reserves from remote, marginal and stranded gas fields.”
Keppel O&M’s CEO, Chris Ong, said that the success of Hilli Episeyo places Keppel O&M in a unique position to provide customers with end-to-end solutions for the engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) and commissioning of FLNG as well as floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) conversions.
“Compared to newbuilds, converted FLNGVs are significantly more cost-effective and faster to market, without compromising safety and processing capabilities.”
Ong added that Keppel O&M was able to combine its expertise in complex offshore conversion projects and executing LNG-related EPC projects to offer innovative and reliable floating liquefaction solutions to meet the growing midstream needs of the LNG industry.
The contract to convert Hilli, awarded to Keppel O&M in July 2014, came with options that Golar exercised, first in December 2014 for Gimi, then in July 2015 for Gandria, both similar vessels.
“Similar to the Gimi, full construction activities of the Gandria will only commence after Keppel Shipyard has received a notice to proceed, which is expected to be issued in 2016. The Golar floating liquefaction facility Gandria is expected to be delivered in approximately 31 months after receipt of such notice to proceed,” Keppel last mentioned in July 2015, when announcing it secured work for Gandria, pending various conditions.
Separately, Fairplay reported in March 2016 that both projects could be delayed.
Keppel O&M has set its sights on developing its LNG expertise, as it expects natural gas demand to increase significantly with an increased global awareness of cleaner energy.
FLNGV solutions can help operators overcome the geographic, technical and economic limitations of developing natural gas resources located in marginal fields while FSRUs help reach consumers in remote areas.
Keppel O&M is also currently building two dual-fuel diesel LNG harbour tugs and two dual-fuel LNG carriers.
FueLNG Ltd, a Keppel-Shell joint venture, is one of the two licensed LNG bunkering suppliers, the other being Pavilion Gas Pte Ltd. Both suppliers have been working closely with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Singapore LNG Corporation Pte Ltd (SLNG) to develop LNG bunkering in Singapore.