Sembmarine clarifies media reports on Johan Castberg project

Sembmarine's work on the Johan Castberg vessel has been hit by "serious manpower shortages" due to the pandemic, said a report.
Sembmarine's work on the FPSO vessel has been hit by "serious manpower shortages" due to Covid-19, said a report.PHOTO: SEMBCORP MARINE

SINGAPORE - Sembcorp Marine (Sembmarine) has clarified media reports last week about its work on the Johan Castberg hull project.

The group's scope of work for the floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel comprises the construction of the hull and living quarters and installation of the turret supplied by its customer, Equinor.

"The construction of the topside modules, module integration and final completion are not part of the company's scope of work and have always been intended by Equinor to be performed in Norway," Sembmarine said in a release filed with the Singapore Exchange on Sunday night (Oct 24).

The Business Times carried an article late last week citing a media report that Sembmarine's work on the Johan Castberg vessel has been hit by "serious manpower shortages" due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and that the project owner is set to transport the unfinished components from Singapore to Norway.

The report by trade publication Upstream said Norwegian energy company Equinor will transport the unfinished hull and turret for the Johan Castberg FPSO vessel to Norway, due to delays and escalating costs. These components were being built at Sembmarine's yard, the report said.

In its Sunday-night release, Sembmarine said the work on the hull and the living quarters was in an advanced stage when the pandemic occurred, resulting in various work restrictions which caused delays in the project.

"During the construction of the hull, there were variations and additions to the scope of work; and these also required additional time to complete. The remaining scope of work left is small, relative to the base scope and variations that have been completed by the company.

"Presently, the Johan Castberg hull and living quarters are largely completed. However, due to the available transportation window for the towing operations to Norway, Equinor has requested that the company plan the remaining scope of work to accommodate the towing window. Such adjustments are provided for in the terms of the contract, and the company and Equinor are presently finalising these arrangements," Sembmarine added.