Sembcorp Confirms Safe Discharge of 87 Workers Involved in Rig Accident

Sembcorp Marine said Thursday that among 89 workers that were injured in a rig accident at Jurong Shipyard and subsequently hospitalized Monday, 87 have been discharged while two remain warded.

In a statement emailed by Sembcorp Marine to Rigzone, the company said that the two workers – still warded at the National University Hospital (NUH) – will need minor surgery on their ankles.

“The company’s in-house doctor is monitoring and coordinating with the doctor at NUH on the progress of these two patients,” the company said in its statement.

Sembcorp Marine also confirmed Thursday that it will provide free handsets and calling cards for all the 89 affected workers so that they will be able to update their families on their health and progress.

The accident occurred on Monday at 1030 local time (0230 GMT) while Sembcorp Marine was conducting a jacking test onboard the jackup Noble Regina Allen (400' ILC), one of two turnkey projects that the company won in 2010. The Ministry of Manpower confirmed that preliminary finds indicate that the braking mechanism of one of the legs of the three-legged jackup rig had failed, causing the rig to tilt to one side. It caused the affected side of the platform to slide downwards, which tilted ten degrees within minutes.

The rig is part of two turnkey contracts, worth some $400 million, which Sembcorp Marine won on Dec.22, 2010 from Noble Corporation. The two jackup rigs, one scheduled for delivery in 4Q 2012 and the other in 1Q 2013, are built based on the upgraded F&G JU2000E design, and this will be designated F&G JU3000N.

Sembcorp Marine confirmed with Rigzone that there were 980 people – including workers, contractors and owners – on the rig at the time of the incident.

Singapore-based dailies, The Straits Times and Shin Min Daily, described a situation of panic onboard the rig as all the workers tried to scramble to safety through the rig's only gangway. Several workers onboard confirmed with the dailies that they threw themselves overboard in their attempt to escape. 

Sembcorp Marine's Chief Executive Officer told local media that another gangway had already been built and would have been fitted after tests were completed, but the accident happened before the firm had a chance to install it.

The MOM issued a stop work order on Monday at the rig to secure the area for on-site investigations, which is still in place at present.

Brokers and analysts were of the opinion that the incident will not significantly affect Sembcorp Marine's bottomline nor its pipeline of orders, citing that the company's fundamentals remain intact. Maybank Kim Eng Research's analyst Yeak Chee Keong said Friday that he has not revised his "buy" call on the stock, which maintains his view that the company will continue to win rig orders on the strength of its reputation as a established rig.

Proving that business has not been dampened by the incident, Sembcorp Marine’s subsidiary, PPL Shipyard, said Friday that it has secured two turnkey contracts - worth $434 million - for the construction of two jackup rigs from Mexico's Integradora de Servicios Petroleros Oro Negro.



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