CIMC Raffles to convert Saipem’s drilling rig into FPU for Eni’s Congo FLNG project

China’s CIMC Raffles has secured an FPU conversion contract from Italy’s Saipem as part of Eni’s Congo FLNG project.

Last week, Saipem announced that Eni Congo awarded the contract to Italian firm for the conversion of the Scarabeo 5 semisubmersible drilling unit into a separation and boosting plant, or a floating production unit.

CIMC Raffles, a part of CIMC, announced during the weekend that it will convert the Scarabeo 5 unit to an FPU.

This is the first order in the world to convert a semisubmersible rig to an FPU undertaken by CIMC Raffles, it said.

The Chinese firm did no reveal the price tag of the deal.

Under the contract, CIMC Raffles will dismantle the drilling system, repair and refurnish the marine system, implement brand new topside process modules, and convert it into a proper offshore oil and gas floating production unit that will be installed and commissioned offshore Congo.

Launch in 2025

Saipem will install the unit offshore the coast of Congo, located northwest of the Djeno terminal, in a depth of about 35 meters.

The firm expects the commissioning offshore works and the start-up of the FPU to start in the fourth quarter of 2025.

The FPU conversion contract is part of Eni’s Congo LNG project, the country’s first natural gas liquefaction project.

The project is expected to reach an overall LNG production capacity of 3 million tons per year from 2025.

In August last year, Eni signed a deal to buy Exmar’s Tango FLNG and expects the unit to start production in 2023.

The floating LNG producer, delivered in 2017 by China’s Wison, has a storage capacity of 16,100 cbm as well as a liquefaction capacity of up to 0.6 million tons per year.

Wison is also building a larger FLNG for Saipem with a capacity of 2.4 mtpa.

The Chinese firm won this contract in December last year and officially started work on the project in January this year.

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