2001 Maritime

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October 9, 2001

Keppel puts more yards under Keppel FELS control
Singapore's Keppel Corporation Limited (KCL) will restructure Keppel Hitachi Zosen Limited (KHZ) under Keppel FELS Limited. The aim is to "create a global leader in servicing the international marine and offshore market."

Keppel FELS is the rig building and repair arm of Keppel FELS Energy and Infrastructure (KFEI). KCL will transfer its entire 61% interest in KHZ to Keppel FELS immediately on completion of the privatization of Keppel FELS Energy & Infrastructure Ltd (KFEI) in early to mid November this year.

KCL executive director Choo Chiau Beng, said “The restructuring of KHZ under Keppel FELS will strengthen Keppel’s global presence through the combined business and operational network of 12 shipyards in strategic offshore markets and hubs of major sea routes around the world.”

Choo is also chairman and managing director of KFEI and chairman of KHZ. The 53-year-old veteran of the offshore construction industry has been a prime movers in putting Singapore on the world map as a leader in the construction of offshore jack-up rigs and a major player in the construction of semi-submersible rigs.

Keppel FELS has won about 60% of world orders for jack-ups since 1996.

“We are taking advantage of the current upturn in the offshore oil and gas industry to strengthen our global position in the provision of sophisticated engineering solutions and shipyard services," noted Choo. "Oil and gas exploration activities are increasing, and with the restructuring of KHZ under Keppel FELS there is greater flexibility in utilizing the resources of both companies.”

“Our first task is to realize the full business potential of the expertise now residing in Keppel FELS and Keppel Shipyard which is the bellwether of Singapore’s expertise in FPSO and FSO conversions,” said Choo,

Keppel Shipyard, a division of KHZ, has completed 34 FPSO and FSO conversions since 1981, and is presently carrying out work on several FPSOs. It has also successfully completed in record time what is among the world’s most challenging and complex FPSO conversions to date, Espadarte.

“Our Singapore yards will serve as the centerfor high value-added design and engineering work as well as complex conversions and sophisticated shipbuilding," said Choo. "They will also provide these expertise and the skilled manpower resources to our overseas yards which are strategically located close to our customers.”