Keppel unit bags $115m deal

Keppel FELS has “the versatility and capabilities to design and build other products that are in demand, such as mobile units for accommodation and maintenance”.
Keppel FELS has “the versatility and capabilities to design and build other products that are in demand, such as mobile units for accommodation and maintenance”. PHOTO: KEPPEL

Keppel Offshore & Marine to build liftboat; vessel scheduled for delivery in late 2017

The rig design and building arm of Keppel Offshore & Marine (O&M) has won a US$85 million (S$115 million) contract to build a high specification liftboat.

The vessel, scheduled for delivery in late 2017, will be able to operate in China, the Middle East and the Gulf of Mexico.

It will be designed by Keppel O&M's liftboat design specialist, Bennet Offshore, in collaboration with the Keppel FELS unit for Crystal Heights Holdings. Liftboats are used to support offshore platforms in construction, accommodation and exploration activity.

"This latest contract from Crystal Heights is the second liftboat based on Keppel's innovative proprietary solution that Keppel has been contracted to build within a year," said Mr Wong Kok Seng, managing director of Keppel O&M (Offshore) and Keppel FELS, in a statement.

Crystal Heights, which is incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, specialises in the offshore oil and gas market.

Mr Wong added: "Even as the market for drilling rigs remains depressed, Keppel has the versatility and capabilities to design and build other products that are in demand, such as mobile units for accommodation and maintenance."

Keppel's joint venture shipyard in Qatar, Nakilat Keppel Offshore & Marine, is also building a similar vessel for a Qatari oilfield service firm.

Crystal Heights director Kenny Cai noted that despite low oil prices, a large number of offshore platforms in the world still require "more efficient and cost-effective solutions, such as the use of a dedicated liftboat for their maintenance, upgrading as well as removal".

"Besides being utilised in the Gulf of Mexico and West Africa, they are also increasingly being employed by key operators in China, the Middle East and South-east Asia," he said.

The Crystal Heights contract is not expected to have a material impact on Keppel Corporation's performance in this financial year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2015, with the headline 'Keppel unit bags $115m deal'. Print Edition | Subscribe