MHI to collaborate with BW Offshore in LNG-FPSO

31 Mar 2010
The BW Offshore FPSO PB Pioneer

The BW Offshore FPSO PB Pioneer

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Japan has reached a basic agreement with the Norwegian-based BW Offshore Limited, one of the world's leading FPSO contractors, to collaborate in the marketing of FPSO for LNG.

The two companies plan to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The collaboration aims to improve the position from which to propose LNG-FPSO to potential customers throughout the world by combining their expertise. MHI’s know-how, garnered through the experience of constructing numerous LNG carriers and offshore structures, and BW Offshore’s significant experience with FPSO projects. Through the effective sharing of roles, the two companies will accelerate its marketing activities and are well positioned to execute their first LNG-FPSO project.

The agreement outlines the joint development of design and joint marketing activities, mainly targeting LNG-FPSO projects, with around two million tonnes per annum production capacity. Specifically, MHI will take charge of the vessel’s hull and LNG storage tank portion while BW Offshore, among others, will be responsible for the pre-treatment and liquefaction facilities and production and mooring solutions. By combining the strengths of the two companies, an LNG-FPSO that accurately responds to customer needs becomes possible to propose as a package. For LNG storage tanks, MHI will propose MOSS type spherical tanks, in which the company has proven experience through the delivery of numerous LNG carriers and whose reliability and economical efficiency have already been confirmed.

BW Offshore was the first to operate a LPG-FPSO with the unit Berge Sisar in Angola, receiving first gas in 1982. BW Offshore’s main shareholder is BW Group, one of the world's leading maritime groups in the tanker, gas and offshore segments. BW Offshore has completed 14 FPSO projects and delivered more than 50 turrets and offshore terminals to date.

While demand for LNG is increasingly being appreciated as an energy source that emits less carbon dioxide (CO2) compared with other fossil fuels, its production and development is moving to offshore gas fields, either large scale or small and medium ‘stranded’ fields, which have been discovered, but remain untapped. As a result, LNG-FPSO, which can eliminate long pipeline and offers facility moving capability, is drawing much attention. At present, gas development projects using LNG-FPSO are either planned or being discussed on offshore sites in many countries, including Australia, Indonesia and Brazil.

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