Norway’s Aibel aims to have massive production platform in Thailand

One of largest petroleum and renewable energy engineering providers in Europe, Norway’s Aibel, has made Thailand a secondary production base. The company will join bidding to be called by Statoil AS, Norway’s state-owned oil conglomerate, for a 10,000-tonne petroleum production platform, using its production base in Thailand.

Stig Jessen, an executive vice-president, said if Aibel wins the bidding, it will start development next March. However, the company must compete with major South Korean rivals Samsung, Daewoo and Hyundai.

“The skill of human resources and lower labour costs here give us cost advantages over our rivals, and that’s why we decided to choose Thailand as a second production base,” said Mr Jessen who also said production costs in Norway are eight times higher than in Thailand.

The company expects growth in global platform assembly will remain strong for at least another eight years.

Jim Ryan, the managing director of Aibel (Thailand) Co, said the parent company has seen significant growth since it started operations in Southeast Asia in 1998.

Aibel entered Thailand in 2005, investing USD10 million in a facility and assembly yard. The present facilities in Rayong and Laem Chabang have a combined area of 200,000 square metres.

On 1 October 2012,  Aibel celebrated the completion of the deck module for Statoil’s Gudrun platform in Laem Chabang.The 2-billion-baht platform weighs 6,000 tonnes which is the largest ever been built at the yard in Laem Chabang. The company expects to take 35 days to ship the platform from Thailand to Norway.

It will be put together with a 4,500-tonne office and living module in the town of Haugesund and delivered to Statoil’s offshore petroleum production block in the North Sea, which is scheduled to start production in the first quarter of 2014.

The USD 600-million Gudrun project began development in April 2011 and was finished yesterday. The Gudrun platform has the capacity to produce 12,000 barrels of oil per day and 210 million cubic feet of gas per day.

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