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Keppel-NUS Corporate Laboratory wins IES engineering award

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Oilfield Technology,

A Low Motion Semisubmersible (LMS) developed by the Keppel-NUS Corporate Laboratory, an industry-university partnership between Keppel Corporation and the National University of Singapore (NUS), has been awarded the Prestigious Engineering Achievement Award 2018 under the category of Applied Research and Development by The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES). Designed for safer, cost-effective and more efficient operations, the versatile LMS can be adopted for drilling, production, or accommodation in harsh, deepwater and arctic environments.

Mr Aziz Merchant, Co-Programme Leader, Keppel-NUS Corporate Laboratory, and Director, Technology, Keppel Technology and Innovation (KTI), said, "We are honoured to receive the IES Prestigious Engineering Achievement Award. With innovative features such as the circular ring pontoon, this LMS design is vastly different from the traditional semisubmersible design. It represents a rig of tomorrow and has the potential to disrupt the deepwater segment of the offshore industry."

"This is the fourth such award that Keppel has received from IES, having previously won for our KFELS B Class jackup and two semisubmersible designs. It is a testament to the strength of our R&D capabilities, which further entrenches our leadership position in the offshore and marine industry."

Professor Chow Yean Khow, Co-Programme Leader, Keppel-NUS Corporate Laboratory, and Executive Director, Maritime Institute @ NUS, said, "This award is a result of years of close collaboration between researchers at NUS and engineers at Keppel. By marrying academic research and industry applications, we were able to develop a game-changing rig design that is practical, safe and efficient."

Harsh environments result in higher vessel motions which reduce operation uptime and introduce difficulties in accurately calculating motions and loads. The LMS developed by the Keppel-NUS Corporate Laboratory has significant advantages over designs of existing semisubmersibles, including:

  • Low motion characteristics and optimal station keeping capabilities through its unique column shape, a circular ring pontoon, and additional inclined pencil columns with water chambers
  • Increased operability uptime in harsh environments from 60% to around 90%
  • Reduced drilling maintenance and operation costs from the use of a surface Blow Out Preventer (BOP) application enabled by low motion characteristics
  • Optimised for ease of construction

The characteristics of the LMS were verified by a model of the LMS being tested in simulated harsh environment conditions in an ocean basin laboratory in the Netherlands.

Established in 2013 to deepen collaboration between the industry and academia in the field of offshore engineering, the Keppel-NUS Corporate Laboratory leverages on Keppel's core competencies and NUS' research expertise to develop capabilities and technologies to maintain Singapore's position as a global leader in the offshore and marine industry.

Keppel previously received the IES Prestigious Engineering Achievement Award for its proprietary KFELS B Class jackup, Semisubmersible Drilling Tender, and DSS 20NS accommodation semi designs. In addition, four projects from across the Keppel Group were voted amongst the top 50 engineering feats that have transformed Singapore in a nationwide competition organised by IES in 2015.

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