Keppel FELS Limited (KFELS), the offshore division
of Keppel FELS Energy & Infrastructure Ltd (Keppel FELS), has won a contract from Diamond Offshore Drilling
for the significant upgrade of its semi-submersible, Ocean Baroness to a semi-submersible with fifth-generation capabilities.
Total capital expenditure for the conversion is estimated at $180 million, of which the shipyard's share is approximately $60 million.
The planned deepwater upgrade will be a greatly enhanced version of Diamond Offshore's highly successful Victory-class upgrades. Initial outfitting will be designed to include stability enhancements and self-contained chain/wire mooring
for operation in water depths to 6,000 ft. with approximately 6,160 tons operating variable deck load, 15,000 psi blowout preventers and riser with a multiplex control system.
Additional features including a high capacity deck crane, significantly enlarged cellar deck area and a 25 ft. x 90 ft. moon pool will provide enhanced subsea completion and development capabilities.
Design engineering work on the vessel has commenced and the conversion is scheduled for completion by the fourth quarter of 2001. The vessel is currently stacked in the Gulf of Mexico, and is expected to arrive in KFELS' Pioneer Yard in early December 2000.