SBM’s new Fast4Ward FPSO hull launched in Chinese yard

Chinese shipyard Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding has launched a hull of the latest FPSO of a Fast4Ward design being built for Dutch provider SBM Offshore.

FPSO H1498 out of dock; Source: SWS
FPSO H1498 out of dock
FPSO H1498 out of dock; Source: SWS

On 10 July, the third H1498 ship of the Fast4Ward offshore floating production and storage vessel (FPSO) series built by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding, a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation, was successfully undocked, the shipyard said in a statement on Monday.

Fast4Ward is SBM Offshore’s program aimed to standardize the FPSO construction and delivery process, thus reducing cost and speeding up the time to the market by up to 12 months.

The first Fast4Ward hull was allocated to the Liza Unity FPSO and the second one to the Liza Prosperity FPSO, both allocated to ExxonMobil’s projects in Guyana. These two hulls have already been completed. The third hull, which has now been launched, is yet to be allocated to a project.

According to the shipyard, the third hull took 161 days, which was earlier than the second vessel in the series. The docking was completed in 16 days, setting a new record for the docking period and integrity of the project. It is also worth reminding that SBM Offshore ordered the fourth Fast4Ward FPSO hull from SWS in March 2021.

The company’s deputy general manager Zhang Qipeng, representatives of the shipowner’s project team and relevant department heads attended the undocking ceremony.

The shipyard states that this type of vessel profoundly changed the traditional pattern of FPSO design and construction, laying the foundation for Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding to build a worldwide universal FPSO construction centre.

It is reported that, in the next phase, Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding will focus on the intensive work of the terminal hoisting, chemical tank special coating and terminal system debugging of the 90B general section of the H1498 Ship Life Building, to achieve the dock and terminal cycle management and control objectives, and to ensure the height of the ship.