Chinese yard CIMC Raffles has emerged as the front-runner for the provision of a floating production, storage and offloading vessel for Malaysia's MISC that is destined for Petrobras' giant Mero field in the Santos basin pre-salt province offshore Brazil.

At least three sources told Upstream that CIMC Raffles in Yantai city, in northern China's Shandong province, has entered into exclusive discussions with MISC after it offered a very competitive price for the Mero-3 floater, a counter-offer that overturned the bid made by Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding Industry in southern China’s Guangdong province.