The hull and living quarters of the Bacalhau — the world's first M350 floating, production, storage and offloading vessel — were delivered on Friday at the Changxingdao shipyard in Dalian, Liaoning province, marking a breakthrough for the Chinese shipbuilding industry.
The vessel has been jointly designed and built by Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co, a subsidiary of State-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corp, and FPSO contractor Modec for international energy company Equinor, which is headquartered in Norway.
The FPSO is a comprehensive, large-scale offshore oil production base that integrates personnel living quarters and a production command system, and can help significantly reduce operating costs.
"The new vessel is the world's first large offshore project designed in adherence to the latest rules and regulations of the Det Norske Veritas," said Pan Yongquan, vice-manager of the large project team of marine industrial products at Dalian Shipbuilding Industry.
Det Norske Veritas is a freestanding, autonomous and independent organization whose objective is to safeguard life, property and the environment. It is a recognized adviser for the maritime industry.
The M350 FPSO features a hull about 350 meters long. The new vessel's material scale and scale parameters make it the largest in the world, with a total length of 364 meters, a beam of 64 meters and a depth of 33 meters.
With a total of 80 rooms, it can accommodate 158 people. It boasts 22 cargo tanks with a full-load oil storage capacity of 2 million barrels. After it is put into operation, the vessel will process 220,000 barrels of crude oil each day.
"A variety of long-term anti-corrosive materials, such as titanium alloy pipes, heat-resistant alloy pipes and super duplex stainless steel pipes, have been used," Pan said, emphasizing that these made the Bacalhau a low-maintenance vessel and would allow it to meet its 30-year designed life without any dry-docking requirements.
The vessel will be deployed for offshore oil and gas production at an oilfield in the Santos Basin, off the coast of Sao Paulo, Brazil, as one with the largest storage and production capacity in Brazilian waters.
It can meet the special marine environmental conditions in Brazil and other regions, being suitable for oil and gas development operations in offshore waters around the world, Pan said.
"The global FPSO market is thriving. The trend is to be capable of operating in deeper waters, with higher daily processing capacity and larger storage capacity," Pan said. "Based on this first M350 vessel, we aim to design and build more FPSOs and make the name of Dalian Shipbuilding Industry flourish in the international shipbuilding market."
According to Pan, this is the seventh newly built FPSO delivered by the company, and its first collaboration on an FPSO hull with Equinor and Modec.
The Dalian company has an order to design and build another M350 FPSO, and construction work is expected to start in October.