Shipbuilding and repair group Sembcorp Marine has taken full ownership of technologies developed in partnership with Ecospec as it aims to capitalise on an uptick in environmental retrofits
The Semb-Eco ballast water treatment system, EIMag cathodic protection, BioMag fouling control, ScaMag boiler water treatment and CSNOx emissions abatement technologies all deploy ultra-low frequency wave technology patented by Ecospec. As part of a share swap, Sembcorp Marine will both relinquish its investment in Ecospec and acquire intellectual property around these technologies.
A Sembcorp Marine spokesman told Singapore Solutions that the company has been working with Ecospec to develop scrubbers and ballast water treatment systems since 2012. “As we scale up our efforts, we have come to an agreement for Sembcorp Marine to drive the process forward,” he said.
“Through this transaction, Sembcorp Marine further strengthens its intellectual property and knowledge to facilitate research and development of solutions for the global offshore and marine sectors,” said Sembcorp Marine president Wong Weng Sun. “This in turn supports our efforts to move up the value chain so that we can do more for our customers.”
The environmental technologies complement Sembcorp Marine’s retrofitting business, which includes installing scrubbers and ballast water management systems. The company provides project management, vessel survey, integration design engineering and green technology equipment supply as well as retrofitting, conducted within scheduled drydockings.
A spokesman confirmed that the UV-based Semb-Eco BWMS – the only such system to be researched, developed, manufactured and factory tested in Singapore – is expected to receive US Coast Guard type-approval certification “in the coming months”.
The introduction of IMO’s global sulphur cap and the ongoing installation timeframe for its Ballast Water Management Convention are responsible for driving a boom in shiprepairs, noted by several brokers in the first weeks of 2019. In September, Maran Tankers contracted Sembcorp Marine to install marine scrubbers and ballast water management systems on 13 vessels – the yard group’s biggest environmental retrofitting deal to date.
The terms of the contract said four of Maran Tankers’ Suezmax tankers are to be fitted with scrubbers and BWMS between Q3 2018 and Q4 2019, with nine VLCCs to be fitted with scrubbers between May 2019 and February 2020. The systems will be installed at Sembcorp Marine’s Tuas Boulevard Yard and Admiralty Yard.
This contract brings Sembcorp Marine’s installation track record up to four scrubber systems and 23 ballast water management systems, with customers including ASP Shipmanagement, ASEAN Cableship, Carnival Corporation, Chevron Shipping, KLC Shipping, MOL Shipping, Naftomar Shipping, Petroleum Geo-Services, Solvang Skibs AS and Wilhelmsen Ship Management.
Sembcorp Marine has also made news in the oil and gas sector, completing the world’s first floating storage and offloading (FSO) unit with a 40-year hull lifespan.
The FSO, named Ailsa, is working in the Culzean gas field in the UK North Sea for a joint venture between Total, BP and JX Nippon. The vessel has a 430,000-barrel condensate storage facility and can operate for up to 25 years continuously without the need for drydocking, in full compliance with UK safety regulations for harsh-environment operations in the field.
Mr Wong said “The successful completion of FSO Ailsa demonstrates that we are now supporting the energy, offshore and marine value chain with a broader and deeper suite of innovative solutions.”
Ailsa is Sembcorp marine’s first FSO newbuild project and was constructed over 22 months with zero lost-time incidents. The vessel was designed inhouse, with a proprietary hull design provided by subsidiary LMG Marin.