Chinese offshore contractor Offshore Oil Engineering Company (COOEC) has cut first steel for the topsides for a major floating production, storage and offloading vessel destined for Petrobras’ Buzios pre-salt field offshore Brazil.

As a subcontractor to a consortium of Italy’s Saipem and South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, COOEC will be responsible for detailed engineering, shop design and the fabrication of 11 modules weighing a total 22,000 tonnes for the P-79 FPSO. This floater will be the eighth FPSO to be deployed on the giant deep-water Buzios field.