While in Singapore last month, I had the unique opportunity to tour Keppel FELS, one of the world’s most prolific and capable shipyards.
Over the past decade, Keppel FELS and its network of offshore yards around the world have successfully delivered almost half of the world’s newbuild jackup rigs and semisubmersibles. This year, they have already delivered 6 jackups with another 14 scheduled to be launched between now and the end of the year.
Since the beginning of 2013, Keppel FELS has been awarded the following contracts:
- New build KFELS B Class jackup rig from Star Drilling Pte Ltd
- Upgrading of the semisubmersible ENSCO 5006 for Ensco PLC (Ensco)
- Upgrading of the semisubmersible Ocean Patriot for Diamond Offshore
- (4) New Build KFELS B Class jackup rigs from Grupo R
- KFELS B Class jackup rig from Ensco
- KFELS B Class jackup rig from Falcon Energy Group
Keppel FELS’ order book, as of 2 May 2013, consists of:
- 28 jackup rigs
- 1 Semisubmersible Drilling Tender (SSDT)
- 2 floating accommodations vessels
On the 9th of April, one of ABS’ surveyors, Sean Danger McKay Holt, escorted me in to Keppel FELS’ yard to witness the launching of the Covadonga, the world’s newest KFELS B-class jack-up. Upon arrival, the workers were already working in teams to knock away the beams that supported the rig on the ways. After all the beams had been knocked out, the hook that held the rig from sliding toward the water was quickly disengaged, and the rig was soon floating out into the harbor.
Watch the video here:
- Owner: CP Latina
- Price: 200 million ( ball park figure)
- Leg length: 517 ft
- Length – 234 ft
- Width -208 ft
- Depth at side -25ft
- GT- 10,352
- Flag- Panama
ABS Surveyors play a critical role in shipyards like Keppel while maintaining a delicate balance of client relations with both the shipyard and ship/rig-owner, but also ensuring integrity in adherence to applicable rules and regulations.
While touring the yard with Sean, I asked what he enjoyed most about working at ABS, he noted:
“Since getting out of the military, it was important to find an organization whose mission I believed in. As well, when I showed up to Keppel and was getting dialed in, one of the Korean surveyors had helped allocated several required items for me. When I asked how much I owed him, he simply shook his head and said, “ABS”, as if he just said “Family.”
I love that.
I work harmoniously on the front line with surveyors & auditors from Singapore, Japan, China, Vietnam, UK, Brazil, and that’s just at this yard. Plus, I’ve have the opportunity to live all around the world like James Bond. It’s like the United Nations, but it actually works and we get along. There are countless challenges here; you could work your whole life for this company and still be learning something totally new.”
Thanks to the behind-the-scenes coordination work by my friends at ABS, I was also given the rare opportunity to take photos while touring Keppel. The following are my images (click for larger):