Keppel: From diverse units to unified ecosystem

An aerial view of Keppel Corp’s Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City project in China. The landmark bilateral project between the governments of Singapore and China seeks to create a practical, scalable and replicable model for sustainable development f
An aerial view of Keppel Corp’s Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City project in China. The landmark bilateral project between the governments of Singapore and China seeks to create a practical, scalable and replicable model for sustainable development for other cities in China. PHOTO: KEPPEL

Companies working on solutions for sustainable urbanisation: CEO

Keppel Corporation has evolved from a group of diverse entities that share a common name to an ecosystem of companies working together to provide solutions for sustainable urbanisation, group chief executive Loh Chin Hua said.

He noted in an interview published in Keppel Corp's 2017 annual report that the conglomerate created Keppel Urban Solutions to meld diverse experience and competencies within the group to develop smart cities.

It is also designed to help the group seek out new markets and sectors as demand for offshore drilling rigs, which once answered for the bulk of its order book, waned.

Keppel Offshore & Marine (O&M) has already secured and delivered contracts in non-drilling segments, including for small-scale and floating liquefied natural gas projects. The O&M business unit completed the world's first conversion in this area last year.

Mr Loh also noted, however, that despite a slowdown in rig-building orders, Keppel O&M is still harnessing its experience in the segment to develop "rigs of the future".

Keppel O&M's research capability in the field helped it land a US$425 million (S$556 million) newbuild contract last month with Awilco Drilling for a rig designed to deliver cost-effective offshore drilling solutions.

Last December, Keppel O&M agreed to pay US$422 million in fines as part of a global resolution with the criminal authorities in Singapore, Brazil and the United States, in relation to corrupt payments made by a former agent in Brazil.

Keppel O&M's research capability in the field helped it land a US$425 million (S$556 million) newbuild contract last month with Awilco Drilling for a rig designed to deliver cost-effective offshore drilling solutions.

Mr Loh said Keppel Corp has strengthened its regulatory measures across the group.

He added that he had encouraged staff to "continue taking legitimate business risks" if these can generate appropriate returns, but noted that "there are bright lines that we must never cross".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2018, with the headline 'Keppel: From diverse units to unified ecosystem'. Print Edition | Subscribe