Steel Cutting Ceremony Held in Thailand for Norway-bound Offshore Platform

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Norwegian oil company Aker BP and construction firm Aibel on Thursday held the first steel cutting ceremony for the Munin platform in Thailand, being built for the Yggdrasil development offshore Norway.

Thai monks blessed the steel in a formal ceremony, before construction of the unmanned production platform got underway.  

“After many years of planning and engineering, construction of Munin is now starting according to plan. The Munin team has made an incredible effort to get the steel cutting started. It was a great experience to take part in the celebration today, which also marks that construction activity is under way on all platform deliveries in Yggdrasil. This is important for the overall progress in the development,” says project director for fixed facilities, Peter Kupka.  

Aker BP said that, with Yggdrasil, it is setting a new standard in offshore operations with remote-controlled operation, unmanned platforms, new technology and data-driven decisions and work processes. Munin, which will be situated in the northern part of the area, is an unmanned gas production platform, and will be the first of its kind on the Norwegian shelf.  

The Munin concept was developed by Equinor. Aibel will deliver engineering, procurement, construction, assembly and commissioning, while Aker BP is the operator for construction and operation.  

"Through Munin, Aibel is contributing set a new bar for offshore developments. Munin is being built without a helicopter deck, living quarters and lifeboats. Access and visits will be accomplished through support vessels. Our priorities have been safety incorporated in the design, minimal maintenance requirements and streamlining of platform systems and functions to avoid manual operations. Starting construction on a new project is always exciting. Now we’ll get to see the physical result of several years of work,” says project manager Erling Landsværk in Aibel.  

The first steel was cut at Aibel’s subcontractor, Deeline. The fabrication shop delivers steel structures which are assembled into larger sections and modules at Aibel Thailand in Laem Chabang. The official celebration started early Thursday morning with a ceremony including sacred chanting, food offerings and blessing with holy water. The festivities continued with a cutting ceremony with representatives from all three companies.   

8000t+ Topsides 

The Munin topsides weigh in at more than 8000 tonnes, with a size of 62 by 42 metres and 35 meteres tall. The contract is valued at NOK 7 billion (currently around $626,57 million) for Aibel and will provide work for around 2000 people distributed between Asker, Haugesund, and Thailand.  

The yard in Thailand will deliver the utility module, stair tower, flare boom and deck sections for the process module. Assembly and outfitting will take place in Haugesund. The first dispatch will set sail for Norway in less than a year.  

“Yggdrasil will bring enormous ripple effects and value creation. The Norwegian share of deliveries is high, and we’re talking about tens of thousands of full-time equivalents in Norway in the years to come. The project will also help secure jobs and develop companies in the shipyard and supplier sectors across the world. Today’s ceremony is a very good example of the huge international scope of Yggdrasil,” concludes Project director Peter Kupka.  

Yggdrasil consists of the Hugin, Fulla and Munin licence groups. The area is located between Alvheim and Oseberg in the North Sea. There are many fields in the area, which contains around 700 million barrels of oil equivalent.  Aker BP is the operator, with Equinor and PgNiG Upstream Norway as licence partners. Extensive infrastructure is planned in this area, including three platforms, power from shore and a subsea development with a total of nine subsea templates, pipelines and umbilicals. 55 wells are planned in the area. The entire Yggdrasil area will be remote-controlled from an onshore integrated operations centre and control room in Stavanger.

Categories: Engineering Industry News Activity Europe Asia Construction

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