Kawasaki Receives Multiple Rexpeller Orders for Drillships and Shuttle Tankers

Nov. 29, 2010

Tokyo, November 29, 2010 —Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today that it has received orders for Rexpeller units for two drillships and two shuttle tankers to be used in an oilfield development project being conducted by Petroleo Brasileiro S.A., Brazil’s state owned oil company. The order comes from Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. in Korea.


The Rexpeller is a fully azimuth-steerable thruster that can generate thrust in any horizontal direction and be utilized as a propulsor, rudder and side thruster. Its excellent maneuverability has made the Rexpeller the perfect propulsion solution for mainly tugboats and supply boats. The following is an outline of the Rexpeller units ordered by Samsung:


Drillship Rexpeller

Drillships are used upstream in the petroleum business to drill offshore for oil. Twelve Rexpeller units have been ordered for two additional drillships and will serve as the ships' main propulsion system.  This brings Samsung's order for Rexpellers to a total of five drillships, including three ships for which it had placed a previous order. The units are all Kawasaki's proven KS-320LF/AU (driving force: 4,500 kW), the company’s largest model yet to be deployed.  A drillship needs to maintain the exact same location during drilling operations. The six Rexpeller units on each drillship will operate concurrently to provide high stationary hold performance.

The Rexpeller units also have underwater (dis)mountable thrusters that can be replaced offshore. This helps to reduce non-operational time by eliminating the need to dry dock for maintenance. Delivery to Samsung is scheduled for 2012.


Shuttle Tanker Rexpellers

Shuttle tankers are used midstream in the petroleum business to transport natural resources. Shuttle tanker services transport oil from offshore facilities, where it is produced, stored, and offloaded, to onshore oil refinery terminals. The order received by Kawasaki for the two shuttle tankers includes six side thrusters, as well as the four Rexpellers. A shuttle tanker needs to maintain the exact same location when offloading, even under strong winds and currents or other severe ocean conditions. The two Rexpeller units and three side thrusters on each shuttle tanker will operate in tandem with the main propulsion system to provide high stationary hold performance.

These Rexpeller units are also designed to be retractable during shuttling to prevent underwater drag. Delivery of the Rexpellers and side thrusters to Samsung is scheduled for 2011.


Kawasaki has delivered more than 500 Rexpeller units since their initial launch in 1983, and has successfully delivered more than 3000 side thrusters since 1967. These latest orders are a testimony to Kawasaki’s record of successful deliveries backed by superior engineering expertise, as well as its well-established system of after-sales service.


As global demand for energy grows and the development of ocean resources expands, Kawasaki will continue to expand its business in marine propulsion systems by pursuing sales of its Rexpeller for use in shuttle tankers, drillships, and other large-size ships used in the petroleum and natural gas fields.