Aker Starts Production of Buoyancy Modules at Malaysian Subsea Facility

Aker Solutions has started up a new facility for production of buoyancy modules for deepwater marine drilling risers at the company's hi-tech subsea manufacturing center in Malaysia.

Aker Solutions has through its subsidiary Phoenix Polymers International Ltd (Phoenix) established a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for buoyancy and polyurethane products. Floatation elements for Aker Solutions' deepwater marine drilling risers, which are also manufactured at the site in Malaysia, will be a key deliverable for the new production unit within the manufacturing center.

"Our manufacturing center in Malaysia is the world's only 'one stop shop' for subsea production systems. The introduction of our buoyancy production unit, in addition to our drilling riser facility, makes this manufacturing center even more unique in the global oil and gas industry," says Egil Martinussen, president of Aker Solutions in Malaysia.

The technology used for the new buoyancy production unit is transferred from Phoenix Polymers International Ltd, an Aberdeen-based company which Aker Solutions acquired a controlling 50% stake in June 2007. The buoyancy manufacturing unit in Malaysia will operate and trade under the Phoenix name.

"The buoyancy production facility will secure delivery of a key component to our drilling riser systems in a part of the world where most new drilling units are being built. This removes logistical barriers, which in turn makes us even more competitive," says Svein Haug, senior vice president Umbilical & Riser, Aker Solutions.

"Setting up our manufacturing center in Malaysia and acquiring the Phoenix business are two strategic actions that have contributed significantly towards Aker Solutions becoming a market leader in the drilling riser segment. We saw the boom in the global rig market coming, and we took action. This latest development is part of a plan to position ourselves for the coming wave of new build drilling units," concludes Haug.