NORWAY HMV takes Visund project in stride

(Below) Statoil's Sleipner West wellhead module at the HMV yard. (Right) An aerial view of HMV's yard. The floating dock in the foreground has now been sold. In winning the fiercely contested main contract for Norsk Hydro's Visund production platform recently, Haugesund Mekaniske Versted (HMV) has strengthened its reputation as one of Norway's leading offshore yards.

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(Below) Statoil's Sleipner West wellhead module at the HMV yard.


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(Right) An aerial view of HMV's yard. The floating dock in the foreground has now been sold.


In winning the fiercely contested main contract for Norsk Hydro's Visund production platform recently, Haugesund Mekaniske Versted (HMV) has strengthened its reputation as one of Norway's leading offshore yards.

Last year it delivered Statoil's Sleipner West B wellhead module and performed the inshore hookup of Hydro's Troll Oil floater. This year will see the completion of Phillips' Ekofisk 2/4-X wellhead deck and mud module, while the 2/4-J separation module is due for delivery next year.

The yard is now in the early stages of the Visund project, for which it is responsible for the EPC supply of the semisubmersible floating production platform. A part of the Ulltveit-Moe group, the yard is the leading employer in the small town of Haugesund which lies on the coast some 50 km north of Stavanger.

Originally a shipyard, it turned to offshore work in the 1970s as shipbuilding slumped and the offshore sector boomed. As contractors have moved to take greater responsibility for delivering parts of, or even whole, projects, HMV has accompanied the trend. It will itself be fabricating the drilling and process modules for the Visund project, and carrying out the final assembly and outfitting of the floater. The remainder of the work is subcontracted. GVA Consultants is responsible for the detailed design of the hull, and Maritime

Tentech and ABB Lummus for engineering and procurement for the topsides - these three companies participated in HMV's bid for the job.

Kvaerner was a rival bidder, but has now been subcontracted to build the hull at its Rosenberg and Egersund yards. Fabrication of the utilities/accommodation module has been subcontracted to Leirvik Sveis, according to marketing director Per Bjoern Habbestad.

For HMV, which has total responsibility for all the subcontracts, the contract involves a massive task of organization and supervision. It will win extra rewards if its performance exceeds set parameters, but faces the prospect of reduced profit or even loss if its performance is below target. However, HMV is no stranger to the Norsok-inspired trend towards structuring contracts and relationships so that clients and contractors are pulling in the same direction. Again with Maritime Tentech, it was a key player in the first partnering project on the Norwegian shelf, Statoil's Sleipner West B platform.

The partners agreed to share any overrun or underrun on the target cost, with Statoil taking a 45% share, HMV 33% and Maritime Tentech 22%. "The effect was a powerful incentive to get costs down," says Habbestad. As a result, the partners delivered the project with a saving of NKr 217.5 million, almost 25% of the NKr 894 million budget.

"We had a very good experience with the project," says Habbestad. "We cut out most of the duplication that occurs under the traditional system and organized engineering deliveries so as to accelerate fabrication." Consequently the platform was completed six weeks ahead of schedule.

In the case of the Ekofisk project, HMV won the fabrication contract for the 2/4-X deck and mud module. The 2/4-X topsides project is now being handled by an alliance between Phillips, HMV and the other contractors, Aker Offshore Partner and Hitec. The financial arrangements are structured in a similar way to those for the Sleipner B project.

The 2/4-X drilling derrick was delivered to the yard in December, and HMV was due to install the mud module and derrick on the deck in March. Delivery is due in August, after which the yard will perform the offshore hook-up. To date the project is coming along very well and is below budget, Habbestad says.

Meanwhile, as fabrication demand remains at modest levels, the yard is taking its first steps into the abandonment market. It has won its way onto the long-list of contractors for Shell's Brent Spar disposal, which it proposes to dismantle in a dry dock. For landing abandoned structures, it is considering using a facility with a deepwater dock at Averoey along the coast.

It has teamed up with Heeremac to offer a joint removal/onshore disposal capability for Esso's Odin platform abandonment, and is seeking to bid for Ekofisk abandonment work with the same partner.

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