Harland & Wolff Wins Refit for FPSO Continuing to Re-Establish Famed Yard

Harland & Wolff Ireland
SeaRose FPSO will be overhauled at the Harland & Wolff Shipyard in Belfast (H&W)

Published Oct 20, 2023 8:48 PM by The Maritime Executive

Harland & Wolff has won a major refit contract to be executed at the company’s famed shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Valued at $74 million, the contract is the next step in the efforts to revitalize the company’s commercial shipyard operations. 

Canada’s Cenovus Energy awarded the mid-life upgrade for the company’s SeaRose Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel to the Belfast yard. Built in 2004 by Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea, the vessel is positioned on the Grand Banks off Canada’s eastern shore. She services a series of fields and offshoots located more than 200 miles off Newfoundland in the Atlantic. Light crude oil from production at the White Rose field is offloaded from the SeaRose FPSO to tankers and stored at an onshore terminal before shipment to buyers.

Cenovus is currently undertaking an upgrade of its operations planning the reopening of one of the fields in the region. Cenovus acquired in 2021 the predecessor company Husky Energy which had operated the fields and the FPSO. The West White Rose Project is expected to add 14 years of production to the White Rose field and extend production at least into the late 2030s.

The vessel is 891 feet in length and 153,000 dwt. She is registered in Canada. Based on a Samsung shuttle tanker design, the vessel is unique in that her hull was also ice-strengthened due to her location in the North Atlantic. She has been operating at the site since 2005 and in 2012 underwent a previous overhaul also at Harland & Wolff.

The vessel is expected to arrive at the company’s Belfast Yard in early 2024 and will be in the Building Dock for over three months. According to the shipyard, several pre-arrival efforts have already commenced in Belfast, including inspections, procurement of steel, fabrication of customized blocks, and other dry dock operations. Further fabrication has begun to ensure the yard is fully prepared to commence refurbishment and upgrade work as soon as the vessel arrives next year. It is expected that 1,000 personnel will be on-site in Belfast.

John Wood, CEO of Harland & Wolff Group Holdings called the job a significant win for the company’s non-defense portfolio. The yard had been in decline for years when it was sold to Wood’s company InfraStrata, which was in the oil and gas sector, in 2019. The last vessel H&W had built was in 2003 and in the subsequent years they did a range of mostly repair jobs. In 2020, they acquired the Appledore shipyard and in 2021 the company acquired the assets of two Scottish-based yards along the east and west coasts, now known as Harland & Wolff (Methil) and Harland & Wolff (Arnish).

Harland & Wolff is currently working on building barges for a London-based company and also gearing up for a large multi-year project as part of a consortium with Navantia UK. The group, which calls itself Team Resolute, won a government contract that includes building three naval support ships. The full contract runs for seven years and is valued at approximately $1.9 billion. Harland & Wolff expects to be responsible for delivery work worth between approximately $850 and $960 million.