PM: Jackup Rig Accident a Reminder for Offshore Sector to Remain Vigilant

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Monday that the rig accident at Jurong Shipyard – a subsidiary of Sembcorp Marine – is a keen reminder for the offshore sector to remain vigilant and try to do better in workplace safety.

In a statement published on his Facebook page Monday evening, Lee said that everyone, including employers, workers and safety inspectors have a part to play in ensuring that the work environment is safe.

"It was a serious accident, but it could have been worse. The investigators will find out what went wrong, and needs to be put right," Lee said via his Facebook post.

In two separate statements released on Monday evening, Sembcorp Marine and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) confirmed that 90 workers have been sent to four hospitals – the majority had minor injuries with one worker in critical condition and 22 seriously injured.

The accident occurred on Monday at 1030 local time (0230 GMT) during a jacking test onboard one of the rigs under construction in Jurong Shipyard in Tanjong Kling Road. The MOM confirmed that preliminary finds indicate that the jack-up mechanism of one of the legs of the three-legged jackup rig had failed, causing the rig to tilt to one side.

Singapore-based Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News reported on Monday that as many as 2,000 workers were working on the rig at the time of the incident. According to the daily, there were "loud explosions and cables snapping" before the rig tilted.

The MOM has issued a stop work order at the rig to secure the area for on-site investigations.

Rigzone reported Monday that the jackup rig involved in the accident is the Noble Regina Allen, one of two turnkey projects that Sembcorp Marine won from a subsidiary of Noble Corporation in December 2010. 

Sembcorp Marine announced Dec.22, 2010, that it won two turnkey contracts – worth some $400 million – from Noble Corporation to build two jackup rigs. The rigs, one scheduled for delivery in 4Q 2012 and the other in 1Q 2013, are built based on the upgraded F&G JU2000E design to be named F&G JU3000N.

Sembcorp Marine when contacted by Rigzone Tuesday declined to confirm, deny or provide additional details on the jackup rig involved in the accident. The company said that it will provide further updates on the accident later in the week after further investigations. 


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