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26 Jul 2018

Keppel-NUS Corporate Laboratory wins IES engineering award

An innovative Low Motion Semisubmersible (LMS) developed by the Keppel-NUS Corporate Laboratory, an industry-university partnership between Keppel Corporation and the National University of Singapore (NUS), has been awarded the Prestigious Engineering Achievement Award 2018 under the category of Applied Research and Development by The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES). Designed for safer, cost-effective and more efficient operations, the versatile LMS can be adopted for drilling, production, or accommodation in harsh, deep water and arctic environments.

Mr Aziz Merchant, Co-Programme Leader, Keppel-NUS Corporate Laboratory, and Director, Technology, Keppel Technology and Innovation (KTI), said, "We are honoured to receive the IES Prestigious Engineering Achievement Award. With innovative features such as the circular ring pontoon, this LMS design is vastly different from the traditional semisubmersible design. It represents a rig of tomorrow and has the potential to disrupt the deepwater segment of the offshore industry."

"This is the fourth such award that Keppel has received from IES, having previously won for our KFELS B Class jackup and two semisubmersible designs. It is a testament to the strength of our R&D capabilities, which further entrenches our leadership position in the offshore and marine industry."

Professor Chow Yean Khow, Co-Programme Leader, Keppel-NUS Corporate Laboratory, and Executive Director, Maritime Institute @ NUS, said, "This award is a result of years of close collaboration between researchers at NUS and engineers at Keppel. By marrying academic research and industry applications, we were able to develop a game-changing rig design that is practical, safe and efficient."

Harsh environments result in higher vessel motions which reduce operation uptime and introduce difficulties in accurately calculating motions and loads. The LMS developed by the Keppel-NUS Corporate Laboratory has significant advantages over designs of existing semisubmersibles, including:

  • Low motion characteristics and optimal station keeping capabilities through its unique column shape, a circular ring pontoon, and additional inclined pencil columns with water chambers
  • Increased operability uptime in harsh environments from 60% to around 90%
  • Reduced drilling maintenance and operation costs from the use of a surface Blow Out Preventer (BOP) application enabled by low motion characteristics
  • Optimised for ease of construction

The characteristics of the LMS were verified by a model of the LMS being tested in simulated harsh environment conditions in an ocean basin laboratory in the Netherlands.

Established in 2013 to deepen collaboration between the industry and academia in the field of offshore engineering, the Keppel-NUS Corporate Laboratory leverages on Keppel's core competencies and NUS' research expertise to develop capabilities and technologies to maintain Singapore's position as a global leader in the offshore and marine industry.

Keppel previously received the IES Prestigious Engineering Achievement Award for its proprietary KFELS B Class jackup, Semisubmersible Drilling Tender, and DSS 20NS accommodation semi designs. In addition, four projects from across the Keppel Group were voted amongst the top 50 engineering feats that have transformed Singapore in a nationwide competition organised by IES in 2015.

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About Keppel Corporation
With a global footprint in more than 20 countries, Keppel is a multi-business company providing robust solutions for sustainable urbanisation, to meet the growing need for energy, infrastructure, clean environments, high quality homes and offices, and connectivity.

Its vision is to be a global company at the forefront of its chosen industries, shaping the future for the benefit of all its stakeholders - Sustaining Growth, Empowering Lives and Nurturing Communities.

Visit for information on the company.

About National University of Singapore (NUS)
A leading global university centred in Asia, the National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore's flagship university, which offers a global approach to education and research, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise.

NUS has 17 Faculties and Schools across three campuses. Its transformative education includes a broad-based curriculum underscored by multidisciplinary courses and cross-faculty enrichment. Over 38,000 students from 100 countries enrich the community with their diverse social and cultural perspectives. NUS also strives to create a supportive and innovative environment to promote creative enterprise within its community.

NUS takes an integrated and multidisciplinary approach to research, working with partners from industry, government and academia, to address crucial and complex issues relevant to Asia and the world. Researchers in NUS' Faculties and Schools, 30 university-level research institutes and centres, and Research Centres of Excellence cover a wide range of themes including: energy, environmental and urban sustainability; treatment and prevention of diseases common among Asians; active ageing; advanced materials; risk management and resilience of financial systems. The University's latest research focus is to use data science, operations research and cybersecurity to support Singapore's Smart Nation initiative.

For more information on NUS, please visit


For more information, please contact:

For Keppel Corp

Brian Lee
Group Corporate Communications
Keppel Corporation Limited
Tel: (65) 6413 6429


Goh Yu Chong
Senior Manager, Media Relations
Office of University Communications
National University of Singapore
DID: (65) 6601 1653