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Everything's Ship-shape in Huge Chinese Project
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Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co yesterday delivered the hull of the nation's biggest floating production, storage and offloading vessel to ConocoPhillips China.

The 300,000-deadweight-ton vessel is valued at US$230 million, is the largest of its type - and the most expensive ship China has ever built.

Tan Zuojun (left), vice general manager of the China State Shipbuilding Corp, shakes hands with J.D. McColgin (right), president of ConocoPhillips Asia Pacific, after the signing of a delivery paper for the hull of an ocean giant. The ship, built by the state ship-building company's Shanghai Waigaoqiao subsidiary, is among the largest such vessels in the world.

The ship, named Hai Yang Shi You 117, is among the largest of its type in the world.

"The ship used the most advanced technologies in the world and is the first in China with its own intellectual property right," said Wang Qi, assistant to the president of the Shanghai shipyard.

"Its timely delivery marks Waigaoqiao becoming a qualified subcontractor in the global offshore engineering industry."

Besides being able to load and process raw crude, and to store and offload stabilized crude, an FPSO vessel can also serve as the production unit for an offshore crude or natural gas exploration project.

China first home-made floating production, storage and offloading vessel was named "Offshore Oil 117" at Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding on Monday, April 30, 2007.

The new FPSO vessel, which can store as much as two million barrels of crude oil, will be used at China's largest offshore oil field, Peng Lai 19-3, located in Bohai Bay in the country's northeast. The vessel is 323 meters long and 63 meters wide. To put this into perspective, it equates to the size of three standard football fields.

The depth of the hull is 32.5 meters and the distance from the bottom to the chimney is 71 meters, which is as high as a 24-floor building.

"The ship will next be towed to Singapore, where the FPSO topside modules are being fabricated," said J.D. McColgin, president of ConocoPhillips Asia Pacific. "Once the modules are installed on the deck and integrated with the hull, they will be commissioned prior to the vessel's return to China in mid-2008."

The new FPSO is expected to be put into operation before the Beijing Olympic Games, company officials said. Shanghai Waigaoqiao signed a deal with ConocoPhillips China in March, 2005, to build the vessel.

COPC is cooperating with the China National Offshore Oil Corp in the Peng Lai project. It is a subsidiary of Houston-based ConocoPhillips Petroleum Company, the world's fourth-largest refiner.

Waigaoqiao expects the construction of FPSO vessels to further propel the country's ship-building industry.

(Shanghai Daily, Xinhua News Agency May 1, 2007)

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