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Sembcorp Marine to Convert Drill Rigs to FLNG for New Fortress Energy

converting drill rigs to FLNG
New Fortress Energy acquired the Sevan Brasil and Seven Driller in the spring of 2022 (Sevan SSP)

Published Oct 20, 2022 5:48 PM by The Maritime Executive

New Fortress Energy is taking a creative approach to addressing the strong continuing demand for infrastructure to support liquified natural gas production. The energy infrastructure company has awarded a contract to Singapore-based Sembcorp Marine for the engineering and conversion of two Sevan cylindrical drilling vessels to Floating LNG (FLNG) liquefaction facilities.

Sembcorp Marine (SCM) reports that it will conduct the work including the fabrication and integration of LNG topside modules. It is part of their expertise in developing customized solutions for clients in the energy sector.

“We are pleased and honored to partner with New Fortress Energy in its Fast FLNG program through these two FLNG conversion projects incorporating SCM’s proprietary Sevan cylindrical hull design,” said William Gu, Senior Vice President & Head of Sembcorp Marine Rigs & Floaters. “Marking SCM’s successful penetration of the FLNG market, these projects allow our customer to rapidly deploy FLNG facilities to capture the growing demand for LNG liquefaction terminals, and to tap on SCM’s full suite of floating and nearshore LNG solutions that are well placed to meet the needs of the burgeoning LNG market.”

SCM said the projects are landmark FLNG conversion projects. While New Fortress Energy (NFE) currently has Fast LNG liquefaction facilities on jack-up rigs under construction in the U.S., this marks the first set of two Sevan cylindrical hulls to be re-purposed into FLNG liquefaction facilities.

According to SCM, after the completion of the conversion program, the two FLNG liquefaction units will host the NFE-designed Fast LNG liquefaction production facility with a capacity of approximately 1.4 mtpa (million tonnes per annum). LNG produced will be stored in a separate LNG tanker moored near the FLNG liquefaction facility. 

New Fortress Energy in April 2022 announced that it had acquired two of the drilling units based on Sevan SSP’s 650 circular hull design for a total of $24 million. The vessels are the Sevan Brasil, built in 2012 and the Sevan Driller built in 2009. Both of the vessels were built by Cosco Nantong Shipyard in China and have a diameter of approximately 245 feet. They are 40,000 dwt. 

The hull conversion and fabrication of topsides for the first FLNG liquefaction facility is scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2024. Work on the second FLNG liquefaction facility project is expected to be contracted through further Work Engagement Contracts to Sembcorp Marine at a later date.