Rolls-Royce has won an equipment order for three RB211 turbogensets that will provide the electric power needed on an FPSO (floating production, storage and offloading) vessel destined for the North Atlantic.
This purpose-built vessel has been designed to withstand the severe climate conditions of the White Rose oilfield, 350 km off the coast of Newfoundland. Here, the combination of deep-water environment, powerful ocean currents, wave heights of up to 28.5m and possible iceberg hazards, dictate against the construction of a conventional production platform in favour of the FPSO, a tanker vessel positioned above the oil wells. Extracted oil will be stored in the vessels’ cargo tanks ready for shuttle tankers to transport it to shore.
Tom Curley, President of the Rolls-Royce Energy Business, said: ‘The White Rose order is very significant business. It represents not only the fourth FPSO worldwide with Rolls-Royce equipment, but it is also the first in North American offshore waters.’
The RB211s have been ordered by Aker Maritime Kiewit Contractors on behalf of Husky Energy. Included in the order are three En-Tronic FT-110 unit control panels. All three gensets will be packaged at the Mount Vernon, Ohio, facilities of Rolls-Royce and are scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2003.
The RB211 gas generators will be engineered, assembled, tested and overhauled in Montreal, Quebec, and the baseplates will be fabricated in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The inlet filters, ducting and acoustic enclosures are being manufactured in Cambridge, Ontario. Throughout the life of the project, Rolls-Royce will support the equipment from its service facility in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
The White Rose oilfield is situated 350 km east of St John’s on the edge of the Jeanne d’Arc Basin, and is said to have reserves of 200-250m barrels of oil. It is scheduled to go on stream by the end of 2005.
Interest in FPSO vessels is said to be growing worldwide. Their advantages include the relative speed with which they can be commissioned — typically within two years, about half the time needed to construct, equip and position a production platform — with associated cost benefits. The proven, excellent availability record of the RB211 gas turbine enhances its appeal for FPSO service.