Japan's MES Develops Next Generation Hull Platform for FPSO

Japan's Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (MES) reported Thursday that it has developed the next generation hull platform for floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) facility for the offshore oil industry.

The shipbuilder said the "Mitsui noah-FPSO Hull" -- "noah" refers to new offshore adapted hull -- enables flexibility in design of the FPSO hull depending on production facilities, instead of adjusting the production facilities to the hull. The firm added that the new offshore platform woud provide significant flexibilities in the design and construction of the FPSO hull as it separates the bow and stern from the parallel mid body of the hull.

"In particular, modular design method -- 'noah flex-modular design' which enables the hull to change its length of parallel mid body depending on each project and 'noah-flex modular construction' which significantly expand its flexibility of construction in horizontal specialization scheme -- are applied to the 'noah-FPSO Hull'. These methods also make it possible to separately construct a self-propelled hull which consists of only bow and stern part, and a parallel mid body at different shipyards," the company said in the press release.

The firm and American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) have launched a Joint Development Project (JDP) to "develop the epoch-making design and construction method of noah-FPSO Hull, and MES has obtained Approval In Principle (AIP) for the noah-FPSO Hull and its design and construction method from ABS."

MES developed the next generation hull platform because offshore oil fields vary in environmental condition and oil property, which are dependent on their geographical locations. The diverse nature of fields led shipyards to change hull design and construction scheme in order to satisfy the specific requirement of each project. While some concepts of standardized FPSO or simple Generic FPSO have been proposed so far as a solution, MES noted that it appears difficult to use a single and simple fixed design across various projects.

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