Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) continues to sign highly technological drillship contracts, despite the recession in the shipbuilding industry.
On October 16, DSME reported it successfully signed a drillship contract worth US$520 million with Transocean of the US. The two companies have agreed upon additional contracts as options as well.
The newly-signed contract consists of building an original DSME-12000 model, 238m in length, 42m in width, and 19m in height, which is the largest to be built by DSME. This model can drill a maximum of 12km down in ocean depths of up to 3.6km. It will be built at the Geoje Okpo Shipbuilding yard and be delivered to Transocean in 2016.
Transocean, which first signed a contract with DSME in 2006, ordered a total of 12 drill ships from DSME, including this latest one. Five of them have been delivered, and seven are in the process of being built.
On October 15, DSME signed orders for a total of 7 drill ships this year, including the two signed with African companies. This is the largest number seen from a domestic shipbuilding company. It is also more than the five drillship contracts signed by DSME last year.
On top of this high number of drillship contracts, DSME’s engineering affiliate DSEC reported on October 16 that it is the world’s first to develop a Floating LNG Power Plant (FLPPTM), a gas-powered power plant that is also a ship. DSEC explained, unlike current LNG-FPSO technology, FLPPTM is the first in the world that saves LNG, converts it to electricity, and distributes it to local areas all on water.
To convert liquid LNG to electricity, the ship has a regasification facility. DSEC also developed an FLRP which has an additional regasification plant attached.
A DSEC associate explained, “It is an excellent product which is possible to build on waters near the supplying area, minimizing power transmission and public works, as well as investment and generation costs.”
It is possible to be moved as necessary, and takes about 30 months from the point of signing the contract to start of operations. This is better for quickly supplying electricity, compared to other fire or nuclear power plants which take four to five years.
In order to increase the level of safety and trust in the new product, DSEC completed basic approval and safety evaluations for the FLPP-L200TM earlier this year with US-based ABS and French BV, which are the official international classification institutions.
A DSEC associate said, “One plant can produce from 200MW up to 900MW, which is the same as one nuclear power plant, gaining a lot of attention as the next replacement for nuclear power plants,” and added, “The generation industry will begin to show high demands for floating LNG power plants in areas with insufficient electricity.”