Japan’s IHI confirms Catcher FPSO award
IHI Corporation has signed the contract with BW Offshore, a leading global provider of floating production services, for a new build FPSO-hull to be operated on Premier Oil’s Catcher field in the UK North Sea.
The hull will be constructed at IHI’s Aichi Works in Japan and delivered by IHI Corporation to BW Offshore.
Under the contract, IHI will design, build, equip and complete a hull with accommodation, helideck and parts of the turret mooring system. The integration of the topside modules and completion of the FPSO will be performed in Singapore.
An FPSO is an offshore unit which produces and stores the crude oil from subsea fields and offloads onto transporting vessels. FPSO’s are not ships, but rather they are seaborne plants. For this reason, they must be constructed to satisfy the required standards for both ship and process plants.
While tankers are docked once every few years for the inspection and maintenance, FPSO’s normally remains in the field for more than 10 years once they are hooked up offshore. Therefore, an FPSO is subject to more severe requirements and enhanced reliability compared to transportation ships. Moreover, FPSO’s engaged in the operation in the North Sea have to survive the harsh environment. IHI’s experience in the offshore businesses and its capabilities were the key to winning the project.