Singapore’s Offshore Shipbuilding Industry on the Rise

Thursday, July 27, 2006
Singapore's shipyards want a bigger share of the offshore shipbuilding industry, eyeing areas now dominated by South Korea, Japan and Norway. According to Reuters, Singapore-listed yards have secured well over half the 92 oil drilling rigs under construction worldwide, and are now looking to expand capacity in a bid to meet a next wave of demand for vessels and platforms needed to pump oil and gas from the ocean bed to the market. Industry executives see rising demand for deep-water floating production capacity as oil prices remain high and some 84 new offshore fields are set to come on stream in the next five years. As Keppel Corp. and SembCorp Marine venture into new business areas, they will come up against South Korean and Japanese yards that are world market leaders in building gas carriers, floating production units, floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels and semi-submersible production rigs. Singapore yards have only led in recent years in converting tankers into FPSOs and have made a few floating production units such as the P-52 by Keppel for Brazil's Petrobras. Industry officials believe that within a few months, Singapore’s yards will see more FPSOs, gas carriers, and drillships for major refurbishments. Meanwhile, smaller Singapore yards are marking their presence by making offshore support vessels (OSV) such as anchor handling, towing and supply vessels (AHTS). These OSVs are the deemed the work horses of the offshore industry, helping transport, moor and supply staff and goods to offshore rigs and platforms. Singapore yards Labroy Marine, Jaya Holdings, Pan United Marine and ASL Marine are building nearly a quarter of the 300 or so OSVs on order worldwide, vying with leading global players such as Norway's Aker, unlisted Kleven Verft and Bollinger Shipyards of the United States. Keppel, building the highest number of offshore rigs, recently announced plans to get new yard space in Singapore. Operating 17 shipyards across the globe, Keppel is also expanding and upgrading yards in China and the Philippines. SembCorp Marine (SembMarine), the world's number-two rig builder, this month acquired an additional seashore area in Singapore and facilities in Indonesia. SembMarine has 11 yards across the world, including five Chinese yards, and was already in the process of making room at one of its main yards in Singapore for building more rigs. Its 12th yard, in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, should start this year. (Source: Reuters)

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