Drydocks World Dubai’s current workload includes conversions and upgrades to both FPSOs and FSOs, as well as over 10 offshore rigs
Drydocks World Dubai has a long-established track record in converting and upgrading offshore production vessels, including FPSOs, FSRUs and FSOs, and the last year has seen a number of projects of this type start, and others conclude.
The FSO Pargo’s conversion was just recently completed, with the vessel sailing from Dubai in January this year. Drydocks World was tasked with the fabrication and installation of the external turret and helideck, as well as the installation of the metering skid, hose reel, quick release hook and crane. In addition to coating the water ballast tanks, main deck, accommodation and other spaces onboard, Drydocks World was responsible for the refurbishment of the vessel’s accommodation.
Meanwhile, FPSO Firenze remained in the yard for the entirety of 2022 while refurbishments and upgrades were being made to the vessel. The scope of work in this case includes the repair, life extension and conversion of the existing FPSO to operate in the Baleine Field, off the Ivory Coast. This major renovation project was still in progress at the beginning of this year, with a notable milestone, more than four million man-hours without a lost time incident (LTI) achieved in January.
The Dubai yard’s healthy pipeline of FPSO upgrades and refurbishments also includes a contract with Malaysian FPSO specialist Yinson, signed in 2022, to upgrade, refurbish and convert an FPSO vessel planned to be deployed at Enauta’s Atlanta field offshore Brazil. The upgraded FPSO Atlanta will be delivered in the second half of 2023 and, under the terms of the contract, Drydocks World is responsible for the conversion and provision of life extension services for the vessel.
Drydocks World has also secured a contract to upgrade the FPSO Petrojarl Knarr for deployment in the Rosebank field, offshore the UK. The contract is a joint venture with Aker Solutions, and under the agreement, Drydocks World will be responsible for the construction and life extension of the FPSO, which will operate for 25 years at the Rosebank field without drydocking. The project will begin in in the first half of 2023 and is expected to be completed by 2025.
Drydocks World is, furthermore, currently working on a contract with Norway-based Kanfa to deliver a topside module for a FPSO, scheduled for delivery in the second quarter of 2023. The module will be used to process crude oil received from oil wells and will be placed on the main deck of the FPSO.
The yard anticipates strong global demand for FPSO work over the next five years and believes it is well placed to benefit from this trend. Managing director Captain Rado Antolovic says: “We are seeing a genuine increase in demand for refit and refurbishment work in the FPSO segment. This is in large part being driven by the growing trend of ultra-deepwater oil and gas exploration and production combined with rising crude oil prices. At Drydocks World we are definitely seeing this recent growth and have strategies in place to ensure that we capture a healthy share of the growing demand in the current market.”
He adds: “We have to be wary of the long conversion time of a ship to FPSO. Consequently, we need to navigate quicker delivery times through new strategies and infrastructure development.”
The high number of ageing FPSO units on the market means there are a lot of opportunities for the refurbishment and upgrade of existing FPSOs for new deployments, Captain Rado points out. He adds: “The geographical spread of the market is also something noteworthy. FPSO Atlanta is headed to Brazil upon completion, a sign the South American region is set to become an important focus market in the next five years.”
Drydocks World has become a popular retrofitting contractor for the oil and gas sector over the past few decades because of its geographic location. This has been supported by a programme of continuous investment in the yard to expand and upgrade facilities.
The South Yard expansion has been a significant recent development which will increase fabrication capacity by 70,000m2, and which is set to add one more load out facility in the yard. Drydock World has also added a new rig jetty to cater for increasing demand from the offshore rig refit and refurbishment market. Additional cranes, hydro blasting and other equipments have all been added while the yard is in the process of implementing a new IT system that is expected to assist production and project management in terms both of planning and execution.
Captain Rado concludes: “Maintaining a shipyard that is up to date is not just a good business proposition, but has made us a shipyard of choice. Innovation and investment in our shipyard’s expansion and upgrading are a necessity in our industry, and ensure that we can offer our customers and partners top-class facilities for every requirement they may have.”
Drydocks World completes over 300 projects a year of varying types on average, with a record of handling 42 refurbishment projects simultaneously. The yard is spread over 200 hectares, and includes four drydocks, with the largest dock capable of handling the world’s largest vessels, as well as over 3,700m of berth space.