SapuraKencanca Launches Sapura Topazio PLSV at IHC Merwede's Yard

SapuraKencana Petroleum Berhad announced that its second pipe laying support vessel, the Sapura Topazio, built specifically for service with Petrobras in Brazil, has been launched in the Netherlands.

The vessel was named and launched Feb. 20 by Yazreen Yahya, wife of Shahril Shamsuddin, president and Group CEO of SapuraKencana, from Dutch shipbuilder IHC Merwede's shipyard in Krimpen aan den Ijssel.

The 550-ton vessel, ordered by Sapura Navegacao Marítima, a Brazil-based joint venture between SapuraKencana and Seadrill, is the second in a series of 6 fully integrated offshore vessels in whose construction IHC Merwede is involved in.

The Sapura Topazio will after this delivery be fitted and commissioned before heading to Brazilian waters to develop deep-sea oilfields of up to 9,842 feet (3,000 meters) along with its sister vessel, the Sapura Diamante which was launched from IHC Merwede in September 2013.

Shahril said at the launch of the vessel that the company was committed to delivering on its promise on the PLSVs to Petrobras as well as building a long and lasting partnership in Brazil.

"We are poised to be in Brazil for a long time and we believe strongly in localization and sharing of knowledge. We will use this opportunity provided to us to operate out of Rio de Janeiro and help to build up local capabilities," he added.

Currently, Sapura Navegacao is preparing to start operating the PLSVs for Petrobras from later this year and will increase its staff strength in Brazil substantially as all vessels that have been contracted by Petrobras are fully delivered and in operation.

The Sapura Topazio will be equipped with a pipelaying spread designed by IHC Engineering Business. It comprises two below-deck storage carousels, with capacities for 2,500 tons and 1,500 tons of product respectively. A vertical (tiltable) lay system with a 550 tons top tension capacity will be permanently installed for the deployment of a range of flexible products.

The tower orientation allows for maximum deck space, while utilizing a high-capacity 610 ton abandonment and recovery (A&R) system. A custom-designed control system from IHC Drives & Automation integrates each aspect of the pipelaying spread to ensure excellent performance, safety and reliability.

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