Keppel Strengthens Ties with Lukoil

Singapore-based Keppel Singmarine Pte Ltd has clinched contracts worth a total of S$260 million (US$164.3 million) for two highly specialized vessels from Lukoil-Kaliningradmorneft.

The parent company of Keppel Singmarine, Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has also signed an agreement with Lukoil for further cooperation in potential newbuilding of offshore rigs, special-purpose offshore facilities, and vessels to service Lukoil's offshore oil terminal vessels at Keppel O&M shipyards around the world.

Keppel’s first projects in recent years for the Russian market are the construction of two 60-tonne bollard pull Ice-class Anchor Handling Tug/Supply (AHTS) vessels that Keppel Singmarine secured from Lukoil in May 2005 and January 2006. The deliveries of these two vessels are due between late-2006 and mid-2007.

The two new contracts, secured on the back of the AHTS, are turnkey projects. They are for the construction of an auxiliary icebreaker vessel and a multi-purpose icebreaking supply vessel.

Contracts for these highly specialized vessels were won amid competition from European yards. They are the first such vessels to be built by an Asian yard. They will be delivered to their owner between late-2007 and mid-2008. To be deployed to the Barents and Arctic seas, the vessels are designed and will be built to the rules and standards of the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RMRS).

The 100-meter-long auxiliary icebreaker vessel will have equipment and system capabilities to work in temperatures down to –40oC and to proceed through 1.7 meters of level ice with 20cm snow cover. The 81-meter-long multi-purpose icebreaking supply vessel can proceed through landfast ice having an unbroken thickness of up to 1.5 meters with 20cm snow cover.

“This partnership with Lukoil represents a strategic milestone in the Keppel Offshore & Marine group’s effort to enhance its services for the Russian energy and offshore-related market,” said Charles Foo, Keppel O&M’s managing director for special projects and Keppel Singmarine’s chairman.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Corp. Limited, Keppel O&M is a leader in offshore rigs and ship conversion and repair as well as a specialized shipbuilder. It has 17 yards in the Asia Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, the Caspian Sea, Middle East, and the North Sea regions.

Keppel Singmarine Pte Ltd is the specialized shipbuilding arm of Keppel O&M. Since the early 1970s, Keppel Singmarine has designed and built more than 400 small- to medium-sized vessels including AHTS, multi-purpose support vessels, and cable ships for a worldwide clientele.

Lukoil-Kaliningradmorneft is a subsidiary of Lukoil Oil Co. It is engaged in marine towing, handling of crude oil and petroleum products, fabrication of mobile drilling rigs, production of LPG, and marketing of Lukoil-produced fuels and lubricants.

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