GEOJE (South Korea): Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, a known technophile, was awestruck by Petronas’ Floating Liquefied Natural Gas Dua (PFLNG Dua) here, which is able to reach deepwater gas reserves located up to 1,500m underwater.
“This is awesome, it is unimaginable. This is so big. The size, if it stands up straight, is almost as tall as the (Petronas) Twin Towers, ” he said on the overall length of the vessel at 393m.
“The facilities are advanced; they can do all (the processes of extracting LNG) on the ship.
“They are operated by Malaysians and that is something we can be proud of, ” he said after visiting the vessel at the Samsung Heavy Industries Geoje shipyard yesterday.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, who was the Lady Sponsor of the vessel who conducted the ceremonial rope-cutting during its official naming as PFLNG Dua.
The vessel, which can accommodate gas production, offshore pipeline, gas liquefaction as well as storage and offloading facilities, will be deployed at the Rotan gas field 140km offshore from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
The vessel is scheduled to set sail in February next year.
It is 100% owned by Petronas and is being constructed by a consortium made up of JGC Corp of Japan and Samsung Heavy Industries of South Korea.
“It is good to have this kind of cooperation as each country has its own strength, its own experiences and we can tap into it.
“I think Malaysians must learn about design and shipbuilding and things like that.
“We do not go the same way as (South) Korea; Korea plans to be big. Malaysia mostly looks into the domestic market.
“We should look into Korea’s strategy and emulate it, ” added Dr Mahathir.
Asked whether Petronas could build another FLNG vessel, the Prime Minister said the country has enough LNG reserves for it, but that depends very much on demand.
“We have enough reserves to have another one and this is a moving platform.
“We can move it to other countries, ” he added.
The visit to the facility in Geoje, a city located in the south Gyeongsang province just off the coast of the port city of Busan, is part of Dr Mahathir’s official visit to South Korea.
Dr Mahathir arrived in Busan on Sunday for the Asean-South Korea Commemorative Summit followed by a two-day official visit to the country.
The Prime Minister was accorded an official welcome at the Seoul air base with the popular song Standing In The Eyes of The World.
The song, synonymous with Dr Mahathir after Malaysia hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1998, was performed by the South Korea military performance group and brass band. — Bernama