Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, BW Offshore to develop LNG FPSO

Source: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has reached a basic agreement with BW Offshore to collaborate in the marketing of FPSO for liquefied natural gas (LNG). The two companies plan to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU). 

The collaboration of the two companies aims to improve the position from which to propose LNG-FPSO to potential customers throughout the world by combining their expertise - MHI's knowhow, garnered through the experience of constructing numerous LNG carriers and offshore structures, and BW Offshore's significant experience with FPSO projects. Through the effective sharing of roles, the two companies will accelerate its marketing activities and are well positioned to execute their first LNG-FPSO project. 

The agreement outlines the joint development of design and joint marketing activities, mainly targeting LNG-FPSO projects, with around two million tons per annum (MTPA) production capacity. Specifically, MHI will take charge of the vessel's hull and LNG storage tank portion and BW Offshore among others will be responsible for the pretreatment and liquefaction facilities and production and mooring solutions. By combining the strengths of the two companies, an LNG-FPSO that scrupulously responds to customer needs becomes possible to propose as a package. For LNG storage tanks, MHI will propose MOSS type spherical tanks, in which the company has proven experience through the delivery of numerous LNG carriers and whose reliability and economical efficiency have already been confirmed.

The origin of BW Offshore goes back to the early 1980s, when it started business as a department of Bergesen d.y., a world leading shipping company. The company was the first to operate a LPG (liquefied petroleum gas)-FPSO with the unit "Berge Sisar" in Angola, receiving first gas in 1982. BW Offshore's main shareholder is BW Group, one of the world's leading maritime groups in the tanker, gas and offshore segments. BW Offshore has completed 14 FPSO projects and delivered more than 50 turrets and offshore terminals to date.

While demand for LNG is increasingly being appreciated as an energy source that emits less carbon dioxide (CO2), one of greenhouse-effect gases, compared with other fossil fuels, its production and development is moving to offshore gas fields, either large scale or small and medium "stranded" fields, which have been discovered, but remain untapped. As a result, LNG-FPSO, which can eliminate long pipeline and offers facility moving capability, is drawing much attention. At present, gas development projects using LNG-FPSO are either planned or being discussed on offshore sites in many countries, including Australia, Indonesia and Brazil.

In tandem with the aforementioned plans, submission of proposals and bidding by shipbuilding and plant engineering companies with strong LNG production facilities have become brisk. Spurred by the collaboration agreement with BW Offshore, MHI will further strengthen its LNG-FPSO marketing activities, leveraging the expertise of the two companies.

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