Two Chinese yards are battling it out for key engineering, procurement and construction contracts to supply topsides modules for the floating production, storage and offloading vessel to be deployed on Shell’s Gato do Mato pre-salt development, offshore Brazil.

Shell is expected to take the final investment decision on the Santos basin pre-salt project before the end of this year, but contracting arrangements for a leased floating production, storage and operating unit are already falling into place.

In May, BW Offshore secured a limited $50 million notice to proceed for early-stage engineering, after which Shell is expected to award a lease and operate contract to a consortium in which the Norwegian floater specialist is partnered by Italy’s Saipem.