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    FSL completes tanker conversion

    Yard News // March 22, 2000
    UK-based Fleet Support Limited (FSL) has completed its first commission for the offshore market following the conversion of the tanker Estrela do Ceara into a Floating, Storage and Offloading (FSO) vessel.

    The 30,169dwt tonnes Estrela Do Ceara, formally Blue Star, has been purchased by an affiliate of Santa Fe Snyder Corporation of Houston for operation off the coast of Brazil. Vanguard Floating Production Limited, managed the conversion at the Portsmouthshipyard.

    The extensive conversion project saw FSL replace more than 100 tonnes of steel, mainly in the vessel's ballast tanks, and carry out a series of other modifications. These included installation of a new water treatment plant with support skid and associated pipework, and fitting riser import and export balconies to handle the receipt and transfer of oil.

    Other new features installed by FSL include a new deck crane, oil spill equipment, and new electrical and machinery controls. In addition, the hull of the 170m Estrela Do Ceara was painted and the accommodation upgraded during the three-month project. The vessel is now classed by the American Bureau of Shipping as a Floating Storage and Offloading Vessel Disconnectable).

    According to the Santa Fe Snyder project manager, the vessel was delivered to Brazil in under four months from the time it was purchased. Acquiring the unit will enable Santa Fe's affiliate and partners to expand the Carauna Field development over the next few years.

    For FSL, it marks the company's first major excursion into the offshore market. The project was managed by FSL's now dedicated Commercial Ship Repair Department that works independent of the Royal Navy shiprepair sector of the company.FSL Business Development Director John Bennett explained: "The Estrela Do Ceara was a major offshore project to cut our teeth on and we have secured some valuable experience. The result has been a high quality job that establishes Portsmouth as a new location for offshore refit and conversion work."

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