Trelleborg’s engineered products operation recently completed a milestone project for BW Offshore for the complete in-house design and fabrication of floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) elastomeric bearing structures.
Supplied to Premier Oil's Catcher FPSO in 2016, this marks the first time the company’s Singapore facility has not only provided elastomeric bearings, but designed and manufactured the entire steel fabricated elastomer bearing system.
Located 180 km east of Aberdeen in the North Sea, the Catcher project, which is scheduled to deliver its first oil in 2017, includes the development of three main oil and gas fields, Catcher, Varadero and Burgman, tied back to an FPSO vessel supplied by BW Offshore. The FPSO will have a processing capacity of 60,000 bopd and a storage capacity of 650,000 bbl.
JP Chia, Engineering Manager within the engineered products operation of Trelleborg Offshore & Construction, said: “As well as supplying elastomeric bearings to Catcher, we were approached by BW Offshore to design the entire structure within which the bearings will be housed. To be trusted to provide such a complete solution to a renowned project is testament to our offshore bearings expertise and the trust our customers have in us to design such a critical part of the vessel.
“Our experienced engineers employ 3D modelling techniques to predict the stress versus strain characteristics and also the fatigue life of its bearings, as well as examining wave action and the resulting multi-directional loads between a vessel's hull and its topside modules. This guarantees that our bearings will guarantee continued assurance and performance when in-situ.”
In addition to designing and fabricating the entire FPSO elastomeric bearing structure in-house, Trelleborg also supplied 20 fixed type bearing systems, 20 sliding type bearing systems and 20 free type bearing systems. These are specially designed to resist alternating movement in all three dimensions and large rotational movements in line with an FPSO's longitudinal axis. This supports and protects processing modules on the vessel from impact, damage and deformation arising from adverse sea and weather conditions.
Trelleborg's elastomeric bearing systems provide a more efficient, cost-effective alternative to steel pot bearings as elastomers are an ideal maintenance-free material where vibration reduction combined with movement tolerance is required.