Power systems, automation roundup

Nov. 1, 2006
A full-scale demonstrator of an auxiliary power plant based on fuel cells is planned for 2008 by north European partners of the DNV-led FellowSHIP research project.

Pam Boschee - Special Correspondent

Fuel cell technology moving offshore

A full-scale demonstrator of an auxiliary power plant based on fuel cells is planned for 2008 by north European partners of the DNV-led FellowSHIP research project.

FellowSHIP is a three-year project whose objective is to develop and test marine and offshore power solutions using molten carbonate fuel cells and solid oxide fuel cells.

Integrated hybrid systems suitable for both main and auxiliary power are an objective of the program with its $23.8 million budget.

The project recently concluded the first stage of its scientific research on fuel cell technology on ships. “This technology can be up to 50% more efficient than today’s diesel engines and at the same time open up for ultra clean ships,” says FellowSHIP’s project manager Tomas Tronstad of DNV.

As environmental regulations are poised to become more stringent, development and commercialization of fuel cell technology in the marine sector is a potential step toward compliance. This, in combination with the continued use of increasingly expensive fossil fuel and the growing call for cut in greenhouse gas emissions, poses a global challenge.

Besides DNV, the project includes the companies Eidesvik Offshore, MTU CFC Solutions GmbH, Vik-Sandvik, and Wärtsilä Automation Norway. The first phase also included Wallenius Marine and Wärtsilä Corp.

The only exhaust of fuel cells is heat and water. If fuelled by carbon-containing fuels such as natural gas, the exhaust will contain CO2, but reduced by up to 50% compared to diesel engines run on marine bunker fuel. Fuel cell technology is inherently silent and vibration-free, and its simpler designs with fewer moving parts require less maintenance. Because fuel cell technology is modular, systems can be configured for efficient use of onboard space.

Aggreko supplies auxiliary power to Yombo field FPSO

Aggreko Plc will provide an 8-MW/4.16-kV standby power package on board the FPSOConkouati, currently operating in the Yombo field off Congo.

Auxiliary power package on board FPSO Conkouati. Courtesy of Aggreko Plc.
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The 8-MW power package will provide facility power to the FPSO while its steam turbines undergo an extensive overhaul.

Ancillaries for the contract were shipped from Aggreko’s Dubai base to the Congolese Port of Pointe Noire in preparation for offshore installation on board the FPSO.

CMS Nomeco, the owner ofConkouati, is part of the Perenco Group of companies that operates the offshore Emeraude and Yombo fields. The Yombo field produces some 11,000 b/d of heavy crude oil, which is processed in the field.

Wärtsilä supplies power system for MPF 1000

MPF Corp. Ltd. awarded a contract of more than $63.2 million to Wärtsilä for delivery of a total power system for a multi-purpose floater, theMPF 1000 offshore drilling vessel. The vessel is planned to be completed and delivered from Dragados Offshore SA, Spain, in 4Q 08.

Wärtsilä will deliver eight 16-cylinder Wärtsilä 32 diesel engines with a combined power output of 58,880 kW for installation on the MPF 1000.
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The contract includes detail design, products, systems, and commissioning of the power plant, propulsion, electrical, and automation systems. Delivery of the major components will be during 1Q 08.

Wärtsilä will deliver eight 16-cylinder Wärtsilä 32 diesel engines with a combined power output of 58,880 kW, generators, medium-voltage switchgear, low-voltage distribution boards, frequency converters, safety and automation systems (including emergency shutdown, fire and gas, power management, vessel automation), a DP3 dynamic positioning system, thruster control, and information management systems.

TheMPF 1000 is the largest offshore drilling unit ever built, according to Wärtsilä, combining FPSO operations with drilling. It is designed for simultaneous drilling and production in deep waters and harsh environments including ultra deepwater. The vessel is 290 m long and has storage capability of 1 MMbbl of oil.

Total to digitally automate Akpo FPSO

Emerson Process Management will serve as the main automation contractor for Total’sAkpo FPSO offshore Nigeria. The Akpo field is 200 km off the coast of Nigeria in water depths of 1,100 to 1,700 m.

TheAkpo FPSO is 310 m long and 61 m wide, and will process and store oil for delivery to tankers or via pipelines to refineries. Its hull will have a storage capacity of 2 MMbbl of oil, and the FPSO will produce 225,000 bbl of oil per day.

Startup is planned for the 3Q08. The gas and condensate field will come on stream late in 2008, and the FPSO is expected to reach peak production of 225,000 boe/d.

Emerson’s responsibilities include development, installation, configuration, testing, and commissioning of the systems controlling the vessel topsides, hull, subsea, and radar tank gauging. It will also be responsible for integrating the safety system.

Emerson collaborated on front end engineering and design and proposed a phased delivery of automation equipment.

The company will supply its open, standards-based PlantWeb digital automation architecture to integrate FPSO operations for optimum process control, asset management, and management information delivery. The architecture includes digital automation systems, intelligent field devices, and the AMS Suite of predictive maintenance software applications.

The network of intelligent transmitters, valves, and assets delivers continuous process and equipment status information. Predictive diagnostics enable proactive maintenance so users maintain high uptime by addressing issues before they become problems.