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Keppel O&M to deliver world's first converted FLNGV

Keppel Shipyard is on track to deliver the world's first converted FLNGV. The vessel was named Hilli Episeyo on Sunday in Singapore.

SINGAPORE'S leading yard group, Keppel Offshore & Marine (O&M), is on track to deliver this year the world's first converted floating liquefaction vessel (FLNGV) to Golar Hilli Corporation, a subsidiary of Golar LNG.

The vessel that was named Hilli Episeyo at a ceremony on Sunday, is scheduled to be delivered to Golar Hilli Corporation in August.

Keppel Shipyard was awarded a US$735 million contract to convert an liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier into the FLNGV for Golar Hilli Corp in 2014.

The announced contract was the first of its kind in the world back in 2014. Now with Hilli Episeyo nearing delivery, Singapore is set to stake a claim to delivering the world's first converted FLNGV.

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Liquefaction of natural gas has traditionally taken place at purpose-built onshore plants. But through the advent of FLNGVs, oil companies now enjoy greater flexibility in deploying and redeploying liquefaction plants for the purpose of extracting and exporting natural gas to shore.

The world's first FLNG has already entered into operations earlier this year, so the floating liquefaction technology is now considered proven.

However, as Keppel O&M CEO Chris Ong pointed out, converted FLNGVs "are significantly more cost-effective and faster to market".

What the delivery of Hilli Episeyo implies, as Golar LNG CEO Oscar Spieler further explained, is that LNG projects, even for those seeking to extract reserves from remote, marginal and stranded gas fields, can now be viable even in a low commodity price environment.

Hilli Episeyo will be put in operation offshore Kribi, Cameroon for Societe Nationale des Hydrocarbures and Perenco Cameroon SA.