Yantai Raffles Receives Award for Best Mechanical Engineering Achievement

Yantai Raffles Shipyard Limited ("YRS") the largest builder of semi-submersible drilling rigs in the PRC, has been announced the winner of the ASME Woelfel Best Mechanical Engineering Achievement Award 2008 (BMEA) for its innovative, new technology, 'Taisun' - the world's largest gantry crane. Earlier, 'Taisun' was presented an Award of Merit as one of Top 5 finalists for the BMEA.

The ASME Woelfel BMEA winner is selected from a field of top offshore companies exhibiting their latest and most advanced technologies at the 2008 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), held annually in Houston, USA. The award, issued by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), recognizes technologies which are novel, have a significant impact on the offshore industry, meet health, safety and environmental (HSE) standards and are well-conceptualized and developed.

The award adds to 'Taisun's' growing list of accolades - it recently received the inaugural OTC Spotlight on New Technology Award and in April 2008, it set a new world record, certified by the Guinness World Record Ltd and World Records Academy, for the heaviest weight lifted by a crane, by hoisting a 20,133 metric tons launching barge 30 meters above the water.

'Taisun's' unprecedented lifting capacity of 20,000MT revolutionizes the way offshore platforms are built as it enables super segments such as a deck box to be joined or 'mated' onto the pontoons of a semi-submersible drilling rig in a single operation; bringing about greater efficiency and a reduction in time-to-market through the concurrent construction of the deck box and pontoon-column assembly; a reduction in overall project man-hours due to the increased accessibility of the deck box during construction and improvements in overall product quality and safety levels by reducing the work carried out at height.

Yantai Raffles is receiving a significant level of enquiry from potential clients signaling their interest in using 'Taisun' to aid their building strategy and the crane is scheduled to lift 9 deck boxes, each exceeding 10,000 metric tons, over the next 24 months.