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SembMarine delivers record-large platform topsides for Norway

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Deputy Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Norway, Mrs Ingvil Tybring-Gjedde and Sembcorp Marine CEO Mr Wong Weng Sun (first row, second and first from the right) officiating the launch of Ivar Aasen Topsides sailaway.

THE largest North Sea-class production platform topsides to be delivered from Sembcorp Marine (SembMarine) in Singapore is ready to sail away for Norwegian oil exploration and development company Det Norske's Ivar Aasen oilfield development.

The engineering, procurement and construction of the topsides contracted to Sembcorp Marine Offshore Platforms (SMOP), then known as SMOE, in February 2013 for S$900 million took 40 months to complete.

SMOP head Ho Nee Sin said at the sailaway ceremony on Saturday that the 13,900-tonne integrated topsides, with a 70-men living quarters-cum-helideck, is SembMarine's offshore platform division's biggest delivered structure to date for the Norwegian North Sea.

Mr Ho said the project delivery in Singapore drew on expertise from 23 countries working together under one roof, clocking more than 14 million man hours of worth with negligible safety incidents.

The detailed design for the topsides was performed by Wood Group Mustang in London with support from its head office in Houston and global offices in Kuala Lumpur and Norway. Most of the major packages were procured from Norwegian vendors.

SMOE won the contract in an international tender, not only beating incumbents in Norway but also overcoming opposition from an activist shareholder then advocating for the platform to be built in Det Norske's home country.

SMOE was able to triumph over its dissenters on its established track record of delivering structures meeting the most stringent health, safety and environment standards in the North Sea. Prior to Ivar Aasen, SMOE had delivered an 11,300-tonne accommodation topsides for ConocoPhillips' Ekofisk 2/4L project, also off Norway.

The Ivar Aasen platform topsides has already been loaded out onto a leased heavy-transport vessel from Cosco Shipping. The Business Times understands the large structure will sail in June to Norway.

Det Norske has also on hire through to December Safe Zephyrus, a Prosafe-owned accommodation rig delivered from SembMarine's Tanjong Kling shipyard, to support Ivar Aasen's field development work.

Production start-up at Ivar Aasen is projected in the fourth quarter of 2016. Ivar Aasen field holds about 200 million barrels of oil equivalent in reserves, with projected production life of 20 years.