Client: OMV New Zealand

Duration: 2013

Location: Nelson, New Zealand

Project value: NZD $2.2 million

Total project value: NZD $80 million

Kernohan Engineering provided a cost effective approach for their clients by leveraging extensive relationships and risk management measures. Ultimately finishing ahead of schedule while still meeting stringent health and safety requirements.

FPSO MV Raroa is a 252 metre long, 42 metre wide oil and gas vessel operating in the Maari Field 80km off the coast of Taranaki New Zealand.

A converted Aframax tanker, it required extensive works as part of an $80million project to upgrade the wellhead platform, processing equipment and install a new swivel so it could rotate on its mooring.



MV Raroa’s size presented challenges from the onset. With no pre-existing infrastructure in place at Port Nelson to service a vessel of this size to carry out the works required.

The scale of upgrades also needed a large workforce to support delivery which was not readily available by a single supplier within the region. Specialist expertise would be required throughout the entire process to meet not only stringent health and safety needs, but also to react timely to the additional jobs evolving as the project progressed.

OMV were also mindful of minimising environmental impacts, calling for a rigorous project management approach to keep upgrade works in line with regulations, tight program scheduling and budgets.


Leveraging a strong track record in the repair and refurbishment of ships, Kernohan were able to work closely with both OMV and Port Nelson Ltd to create the infrastructure needed to successfully accommodate MV Raroa.

Engaging local suppliers and coordinating additional tugs to manoeuvre the vessel through the Cut and into position at McGlashen Quay.

A dedicated project management team and full-time manager meant Kernohan were able to organize and coordinate the infrastructure and resources for over 150 specialised workers from various local companies to repair and manufacture parts and respond to transport, electrical services and logistic needs. This ensured costs were competitive and fair for OMV, while boosting the regional economy as well.

With the supply of eight dedicated health, safety and environment staff on 24 hour shifts and introduction of comprehensive risk management measures , Kernohan met stringent international safety and quality standards applicable to the oil and gas sector. Successfully managing hazardous substances, sludge and rubbish removal along the way.



Kernohan’s ability to coordinate the expansion of existing Port infrastructure, adoption of comprehensive risk management plans and delivery of technical expertise for swivel replacement meant works were completed in less than four weeks – delivering ahead of schedule, with zero injury recorded and to budget.

“The spirit and professional attitude of the team was extraordinary and complemented OMV’s expertise.
Everyone involved gave their best to complete a very large scope of work within a tight time-frame, but even more importantly, it was all done in a safe and efficient manner without a single lost time accident.


Peter Zeilinger

Managing Director, OMV New Zealand

Platform Nelson

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