China’s growing sophistication in the marine industry was illustrated in Europe recently when the Chinese-built semi-submersible heavylift ship Xin Guang Hua arrived in Rotterdam carrying the circular, floating production, storage and offloading unit (FPSO) Western Isles

The vessel is intended for deployment to Dana Petroleum’s Western Isles development project in the North Sea.

The FPSO, which has a storage capacity of up to 400,000 barrels, is the first FPSO China has built for a foreign country.

The 98,000dwt Xin Guang Hua, operated by COSCO Shipping Heavy Transport, is the second-largest semi-submersible heavylift ship in the world, and one of a growing number of such vessels being turned out by Chinese yards for both domestic and foreign operators. Jim Shaw