Best-in-class for MVOT’s FSO conversion classification Cover photo

Best-in-class for MVOT’s FSO conversion classification

Mar. 4 2020 - 4 min

Bureau Veritas is set to class a new FSO conversion for MVOT, lending its expertise to IKC’s Sao Vang and Dai Nguyet Development Project in Vietnam.

Floating production systems have increasingly emerged as one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to explore deep waters and distant locations. There are currently 100 floating storage and offloading (FSO) and 180 floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) units in operation worldwide. While the market has fluctuated in recent years, new projects are once more appearing, with asset owners looking to partner with classification societies who deeply understand their conversion challenges.

A new FSO for MISC-PTSC joint venture

This year will see a new vessel join the ranks of FSOs. MISC Berhad, through its 51%-owned Malaysia Vietnam Offshore Terminal (MVOT), is undertaking the conversion of an Aframax tanker. Leased to Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. (IKC), the FSO will be deployed for the Sao Vang and Dai Nguyet gas and condensate fields located offshore Vietnam, and will be turret moored in waters ~130m deep. The conversion is set to take place in the Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering shipyard with delivery slated for mid-2020.

What conversion entails

Typical challenges for FSO conversion include structural integrity, corrosion status and previous cumulated fatigue damage, with or without crack initiation. Treating structural defects is very expensive once a vessel is offshore, so many units will undergo a thorough structural analysis to determine the necessary conversion scope. For the Sao Vang, plan approval activities – including fire safety, machinery, stability, mooring and 3D hull structure analysis – were completed in Kuala Lampur, with assistance on technology transfer and training from Bureau Veritas Paris.

A unique challenge for this vessel was delivering the project on time; given the harsh nature of northern Vietnamese waters, the structural assessment and turret structure construction were challenging to complete in under two years from the award date. Design review was conducted in parallel with the design process to ensure the shipyard remained on schedule, with completion at the end of 2019. Currently, Bureau Veritas surveyors are performing on-site inspections, to ensure compliance with approved drawings and a quick construction phase.

Bringing together experience and expertise

Having already classed several MISC-operated units, Bureau Veritas has been chosen to class this latest FSO, confirming us as the partner of choice for MISC and other operators seeking to class converted offshore units. Thanks to our experience with floating units, the strength of our plan approval office in Kuala Lumpur, our global network for materials and equipment certification, and a strong presence in Malaysia and Singapore, we are perfectly positioned to support this project. All offshore units classed by Bureau Veritas are verified for compliance with our Rule Note NR445, and we use Guidance Note NI593 specifically for ship conversions into offshore units.