March 19, 2003

Major conversions for Keppel Shipyard
Singapore's Keppel Shipyard has secured two conversion contracts totalling about S$100 million (about US$566,250). The first contract is for a fast-track conversion of FPSO Marlim Sul from repeat customer Single Buoy Moorings Inc (SBM). The second is for the upgrading of a trailing suction hopper dredge, Vasco da Gama, owned by Belgium's Jan de Nul

The preferred shipyard for SBM in the Far East, Keppel Shipyard has completed four similar fast track projects for SBM since 2000. These projects include FPSO Espadarte, Yetagun FSO, FPSO Falcon, and FPSO Brasil.

"Fast track projects are very challenging both for the owners and the shipyard," commented Tong Chong Heong, managing director and COO of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), the parent company of Keppel Shipyard. He noted that a special challenge was ensuring that a high standard of work was achieved without compromising safety and cost management.

Keppel Shipyard has achieved Accident Frequency Rate (FR) of 0.96 and 0.88 accidents per million man-hours of working for FPSO Falcon and FPSO Brasil compaerd with a general marine industry FR of 3.2 for year 2002. Overall, Keppel Shipyard achieved an FR of 1.72 for year 2002, which is 46.25% lower than the Marine Industry's average.

"Fast track projects require engineering, fabrication and assembly works to be carried out in parallel and little room for errors is allowed," noted SBM COO Dick van der Zee. "Expertise and flexibility on the part of the shipyard is absolutely necessary. Keppel Shipyard has demonstrated time and again what it takes to perform such demanding work."

The 270,000 dwt FPSO Marlim Sul is scheduled to arrive in Keppel Shipyard in March/April 2003. The work is expected to be completed in 11 months, after which the unit will be leased for nearly eight years to Petrobras to be deployed in the Marlim Sul field off Brazil.

The upgrade on the trailing suction hopper dredge for Jan de Nul involves modification of the ship structure for a deep dredging system that is able to dredge up to 135 m deep, installation of suction pipe inlet (130 tons new steel), installation of trunnion gantry/service frame, pump cradle/winch/gantry, 135m/80m suction pipe assembly and inboard dredging pipe/jet pipe and electrical and hydraulic system.

When completed Vasco da Gama will become the world's largest dredge of its class.

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