FPSO Bacalhau; Source: Equinor

With departure of FPSO modules, Aibel wraps up its ‘largest’ Thai project

Modules, made by Norway’s Aibel, for a floating, production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel are on their way to Singapore. Upon completion, this FPSO will work on an Equinor-operated field off the coast of Brazil.

FPSO Bacalhau; Source: Equinor

Aibel was awarded a front-end engineering design (FEED) contract for the Bacalhau project by MODEC in early 2020. Come January 2021, the two players inked an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract, covering detail engineering, bulk procurement, and construction of the topside modules for the FPSO Bacalhau.

The project was managed and executed from Aibel’s Singapore office with assistance from the company’s engineering office in Thailand while construction activities took place at the yard in Laem Chabang, Thailand.

The modules, which left Aibel’s Thai yard on January 23, 2024, are now en route to Singapore, where they will be installed on board the FPSO Bacalhau. According to Aibel, 22,000 tons of modules have been designed and built as part of this project, making it “the largest project” the company ever delivered from Thailand.

With a production capacity of 220,000 barrels per day, the FPSO Bacalhau will be deployed at the Equinor-operated 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. The completed FPSO will be delivered by Japan’s MODEC to Norway’s Equinor, as one of the world’s largest FPSOs.

Modules for FPSO Bacalhau; Source: Aibel
Modules for FPSO Bacalhau; Source: Aibel

Equinor made the final investment decision (FID) for the $8 billion Bacalhau project in June 2021. A few days later, MODEC officially confirmed a contract award with Equinor to deliver the engineering, procurement, construction, and installation of the FPSO Bacalhau. The vessel marks the first application of the Japanese firm’s M350 hull, a next-generation newbuild hull for FPSOs.

MODEC awarded several deals for the FPSO Bacalhau, including the one to Keppel Shipyard in February 2022 for the installation and integration of topside modules onboard the FPSO. In addition, the company hired Inprocess in April 2022 for the provision of a new emulated operator training simulator (OTS) solution for the vessel.

The Japanese player also handed out a contract to Axess Group for the design review and certification of lifting appliances of the hull and select modules in China. In May 2023, Dalian Shipbuilding officially delivered the FPSO Bacalhau

The Bacalhau development will consist of 19 subsea wells tied back to this FPSO, which is 364 meters long, 64 meters wide, and 33 meters deep, with a designed draft of 22.65 meters and a deck area of 17,400 square meters – equivalent to three standard football fields.

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Based on the estimates from Equinor and its partners, the recoverable reserves of Bacalhau – including the Bacalhau North area – are more than two billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe). The first oil is anticipated in 2025.

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