Photo: Bacalhau FPSO; Source: Equinor

MODEC and Aibel hand out deals for ‘one of the largest FPSOs ever delivered to Brazil’

Japan’s FPSO provider MODEC and Norway’s Aibel have picked Axess Group, an integrity and engineering solutions provider, for inspection and certification work on a floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel bound for an Equinor-operated field off Brazil.

Axess Group revealed on Tuesday that it has secured two contracts – one with MODEC and the other one with Aibel – for Equinor’s Bacalhau FPSO, which the company says will be “one of the largest FPSOs ever delivered to Brazil.”

Rod Matzdorff, Client Manager at Axess Group, remarked: “We are happy to be recognised for our expertise in inspections, certifications and compliance. With this project, we look forward to further developing the good working relationships we have with both MODEC and Aibel.”

Furthermore, the contract awarded by MODEC includes the design review and certification of lifting appliances of the hull and select modules in China. On the other hand, Aibel’s fabrication yard in Laem Chabang, Thailand, awarded a similar service contract for the vessel’s topside modules, enabling Axess to provide engineering review, inspection, testing and certification of lifting appliances, to ensure statutory compliance and delivery to region-specific standards.

Ricardo Freire, Operations Director of APME at Axess Group, commented: “Thanks to the good collaboration with the MODEC team in Singapore and China, as well as the continued support by Aibel’s team in Thailand, the site inspections are being performed seamlessly under standardised processes and requirements.”

With a production capacity of 220,000 barrels per day, the Bacalhau FPSO will be deployed at the Bacalhau field which is situated across two licenses, BM-S-8 and Norte de Carcará, in the pre-salt region of the Santos Basin offshore Brazil.

As explained by Equinor, the development will consist of 19 subsea wells tied back to the FPSO, which is 364 meters long, 64 meters wide, and 33 meters deep, with a designed draft of 22.65 meters. Based on the estimates from Equinor and its partners – ExxonMobil and Petrogal – the recoverable reserves of Bacalhau – including the Bacalhau North area – are more than two billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe). The production start-up is anticipated in 2024.

Regarding MODEC’s recent activities related to the Bacalhau FPSO, it is worth noting that the firm inked a deal with Keppel Shipyard in February 2022 for the installation and integration of topside modules onboard this FPSO. 

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In addition, the company hired Inprocess in April 2022 for the provision of a new Emulated Operator Training Simulator (OTS) solution for this FPSO.