CIMC Raffles to convert Saipem rig for Eni’s African LNG project

Italian offshore firm Saipem has picked Chinese yard CIMC Raffles for the conversion of its semi-submersible drilling rig Scarabeo 5 into a floating production unit (FPU).

The conversion contract between the two was announced right after Saipem won a deal from Eni to deploy the rig as an FPU off the coast of the Republic of Congo.

The FPU, which will be located northwest of the Djeno Terminal, will receive the production fluids from platforms, separate the gas from liquids and boosts the gas in order to feed the nearby Tango FLNG unit. The commissioning work and start-up are scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2025.

This is CIMC Raffles’ first conversion of a semi-submersible drilling rig into an FPU. The Scarabeo 5 donor rig is a 4th-generation semi-sub with a maximum operating water depth of 2,000 meters and a maximum drilling depth of 9,000 meters.

The main conversion activities include the dismantling of all drilling systems, reparation and refurnishing of the marine system, and the installation of new topside process modules.

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