FRANCE: Comsip extending engineering services in remote offshore regions

Cegelec's departure from the Alstom group last year represented Europe's largest leveraged management buyout, at weird750 million. The newly independent engineering/construction services company works in many sectors, but views offshore projects as a prime growth area.

Th 94320

Cegelec's departure from the Alstom group last year represented Europe's largest leveraged management buyout, at weird750 million. The newly independent engineering/construction services company works in many sectors, but views offshore projects as a prime growth area.

Th 94320
Cegelec is currently performing work on TotalFinaElf's Tunu development offshore Indonesia.
Click here to enlarge image

"Currently, 12% of our turnover comes from the oil and gas industry," says Business Development Director of the Comsip division Geoffrey Lyon, "with sales to this sector of weird360 million. So we are already a strong player in this business, although in some geographical areas we haven't scratched the surface."

Cegelec, which is based near Paris, also has representative offices in 27 countries and a worldwide staff of 27,000. "We're not a big R&D center for new deepwater solutions," Lyon says, "however, we do engineer and implement most high-tech equipment packages in our sector of specialization. Our key strengths are our broad know-how in instrumentation, control systems, power generation and distribution, telecommunications, HVAC, and SCADA systems. Through our network of 1,200 permanent local offices we supply an on-the-ground service on a daily basis, but for major projects the Comsip division brings its expertise to the table.

"We offer a complete spectrum of services, from front-end and conceptual design to regular engineering procurement. We don't manufacture products, rather we specify and procure, while others manufacture them. We also provide re-vamping of existing installations. We have 350 references for projects involving modification work in hazardous environments, generally while the plant is still running (hot transfer). We mainly do this in the downstream sector, but I don't know why platform operators don't consider the same approach instead of always opting for total shutdowns."

Another Cegelec/Comsip division specialty is the Ciscom software package, used for commissioning and start-up. "Ciscom is based on methodology using a systems approach. Various software interfaces are used to register what is being installed and tested - the commissioning team then 'plugs into' the system, and it produces a construction punch list per system. The system can cut 40% off of normal commissioning time. It has been used successfully by TotalFinaElf on many recent offshore installations."

TotalFinaElf is one of the company's more regular offshore clients. Last year Comsip started a three-year contract on Tunu Phase 8, offshore Kalimantan, Borneo. The workscope includes installation of power distribution, control, and safety shutdown systems on a new compression platform, plus modifications to three existing process platforms.

"The last component of our service is global maintenance," Lyon says. "In offshore terms, that means multi-disciplinary maintenance. This is what we're doing currently on the Girassol FPSO (floating production, storage, and offloading vessel), under a three-year contract awarded last September." Services covered include power distribution, all production facilities, utilities, export systems, and living quarters.

"The areas we want to develop most in the offshore sector are maintenance, training, and commissioning. In Angola, there were few people capable of doing machinery maintenance to the standards required on Girassol. However, we did not want to bring in 80 European ex-pats to work on the vessel, so Cegelec offered to Sonangol/TFE to train Angolan personnel to serve the local market."

For Girassol, Comsip also developed a Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) metho-dology to draft maintenance plans, and a plan defining what to do on equipment (action and frequency) relating to the potential impact of a failure on the system, not merely on the equipment itself. The company also works with and coordinates the FPSO's main equipment suppliers, which have direct contracts with the owner.

More in Equipment Engineering