Korea’s “big three” shipbuilders are trying to strengthen their competitiveness via international standards for offshore plants.
The nation’s leading shipbuilders – Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) – announced that they held a meeting for an “Offshore Design Standardization Joint Industry Project (JIP)” with the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) in Houston, Texas, United States, on Oct. 14. The meeting was also participated in by the world’s leading energy corporations like ConocoPhilips, and offshore engineering services firms such as Technip and Mustang.
Since there are no international standards in the offshore plant sector, the materials and design of offshore facilities vary by project and client, as well as the design, production, and quality control procedures.
In the absence of common rules for equipment lists, design, and work procedures, offshore facilities contractors and clients alike have been facing increases in the amount of materials needed and material procurement costs, and project delays with project-specific procedures. In particular, project delays have led to massive deficits for the three shipbuilders.
In order to address these problems, the three South Korean shipbuilders agreed to join forces to standardize the materials, design, and procedures of offshore facilities by the first half of 2016.
The standardization of offshore plants will be divided into three sectors – the standardization of materials that simplifies various kinds of materials needs for design; standardization of design that unifies offshore designs that vary by client and project; and standardization of procedures that unifies project management, design, production, quality and safety management.
The three major South Korean shipbuilders have already been working on standardization with DNV GL, the combined classification society of Norway's DNV and Germany's GL, since May this year, led by HHI. They also plan to complete the international standardization of offshore facilities in the medium to longer term by listing the common rules on International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in the future.