Aker Kvaerner Opens High Tech Subsea Center in Malaysia in Record Time

Aker Kvaerner's multi-million dollar integrated subsea oil and gas center in Malaysia was officially opened today, marking the successful conclusion of an ultra fast-track schedule to bring the facility on stream. Located in Port Klang Free Zone, Pulau Indah, Klang, the purpose-built manufacturing center, with a total investment value of US $100 million, is the first of its kind in the world.

"Today marks a significant milestone in our history. Just 13 months after our Board of Directors made the decision to invest in this manufacturing center, the first section of the facility was opened. Only six months from that date, the center, with its six workshops, is now fully operational," said Martinus Brandal, President & CEO, Aker Kvaerner, "I am delighted to report that we already have a number of manufacturing contracts underway, including a major assignment on the groundbreaking Murphy Oil deepwater Kikeh Field here in Malaysia. In fact, just a few weeks ago, we completed the first Kikeh subsea tree and control module -- fully assembled and tested here in these facilities," he added.

Officiating at the opening event, Datuk Anuar Ahmad, Vice President, Oil Business, Petronas, representing Petronas President & CEO Tan Sri Dato' Sri Mohd Hassan Marican, said, "The establishment of this facility certainly goes a long way in supporting the overall development of the Malaysian oil and gas industry and stands as a testimony to Aker Kvaerner's confidence in Malaysia. Equally important, this operation brings us a step closer towards realizing our aspiration of turning Malaysia into a Regional Deepwater Center."

According to Mr. Brandal, Malaysia was selected as the location for the subsea center following extensive market research into a range of other countries in the South East Asia region. "Our final selection was based on Malaysia's favorable investment climate, accessibility to the dynamic deepwater markets in the region, and the availability of good technical resources," he said.

With a presence in Malaysia dating back some 20 years, Aker Kvaerner has provided design engineering services, local fabrication and project management consultancy for a range of clients in the offshore and onshore oil and gas industry over that time. Recently, the company has been building up capacity in the region.

Currently Aker Kvaerner employs 3,500 people in Asia Pacific, of which 600 are located in Malaysia. The high tech Manufacturing Center will eventually employ 1,000 highly skilled technicians, engineers, supply chain personnel and managers.

The new center is located on a site of some 150 000 square meters at Pulau Indah, in the Port Klang Free Zone. Among the activities being carried out are: machining, assembly and testing of subsea trees, manufacturing of controls valves and couplings, assembly and testing of subsea production control systems, fabrication of subsea manifolds and structures, manufacturing of deepwater marine drilling risers, and site integration testing. Project management for EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contracts and life of field service support for deepwater projects are also being handled from Malaysia.

"This will enable the entire range of specialist equipment and services needed for the growing number of deepwater projects in the region to be provided from one single point. This is what makes the center unique, not just in the subsea industry, but throughout the world," said Raymond Carlsen, Executive Vice President, Aker Kvaerner Subsea.

In addition to the contract for the Murphy Oil Kikeh development, work in hand at the subsea center also includes projects for Modec and for Reliance Oil's giant KG-D6 and MA-D6 developments on the Indian Continental Shelf, as well as tie-in clamps, deepwater marine drilling risers and other products.

"Technology transfer is also an important part of the company's investment in Malaysia and an ongoing commitment," said Egil Martinussen, President Aker Kvaerner Malaysia. "We will soon reach our target of having 100 Malaysian engineers and technicians trained overseas at our technology and manufacturing centers in the UK and Norway. We have also seconded approximately 50 of our overseas personnel here from our subsea centers of excellence elsewhere in the world to train local managers, engineers and technicians, training that will be essential for the continued growth of Malaysia's deepwater industry."

"This investment is only the beginning. We look forward to working together with Petronas and its production sharing partners to develop Malaysia as the deepwater center in South East Asia," concluded Mr. Brandal.

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