VESSEL CONVERSION | Guanabara MV31 – Ex-VLCC undergoes comprehensive refit for FPSO duties


China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) has completed conversion work on a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel on behalf of Japanese design and engineering company MODEC.

The object of the conversion was originally built in 1999 as the Bahamas-flagged, double-hulled very large crude carrier (VLCC) Luxembourg, which had last sailed under the ownership of Antwerp-based shipping company Euronav. The FPSO has been renamed Guanabara MV31 in honour of Guanabara Bay, a large oceanic bay that lies just off the south-eastern Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro.

The FPSO is owned, operated, and maintained by MODEC through subsidiary MODEC Offshore Production Systems Singapore. MODEC had also overseen the engineering, procurement, construction, and installation (EPCI) as well as the mobilisation of the FPSO, though the conversion work itself was carried out at the China facilities of CSSC while the manufacture of some of the topside modules was delegated to Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company (DSIC) and Estaleiros do Brasil (EBR). The delegation of module manufacture to EBR ensured the FPSO will have Brazilian local content to make it suitable for operation in Brazil’s offshore waters.

The conversion commenced in January 2019 and was completed in August of this year. CSSC said the conversion is notable for being one of the first instances in the world wherein the hull transformation and the construction and integration of modules for the same FPSO was performed in just one shipyard.

The converted FPSO has an LOA of 332 metres, a beam of 58 metres, and a draught of nine metres. It will be capable of processing 180,000 barrels of crude oil per day, 12 million standard cubic metres of gas per day, 225,000 barrels of water injection per day and has storage capacity of 1.4 million barrels of crude oil.

The FPSO also has a complete refrigeration package from REI Process. This system will be used to cool down high-pressure gas to liquefy heave radiocarbons.

Guanabara MV31 will be deployed at the Mero (formerly Libra) field and will be operated by Brazilian state-owned oil company Petrobras and its partners in the Libra Consortium. The FPSO will be moored in the giant “pre-salt” region of the Santos Basin some 180 kilometres off the coast of Rio de Janeiro at a water depth approximately 2,100 metres. The FPSO’s deployment at the Mero field is in fulfilment of a 22-year charter with Petrobras.

Guanabara MV31 is the 14th floating storage and offloading vessel that MODEC will provide in Brazil, as well as the owner’s seventh FPSO in the “pre-salt” region.

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Guanabara MV31
Type of vessel:Floating production storage and offloading unit
Owner:MODEC, Japan
Operator:MODEC Offshore Production Systems Singapore
Builders:China State Shipbuilding Corporation; Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company, China; Estaleiros do Brasil, Brazil
Hull construction material:Steel
Superstructure construction material:Steel
Deck construction material:Steel
Length overall:332 metres
Beam:58 metres
Draught:9.0 metres
Capacity:1.4 million barrels
Refrigeration equipment:REI Process

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