One million dollar button

08 Oct 2014
Siem Offshore's pair of Well Intervention Vessels will be using Wärtsilä gensets

Siem Offshore's pair of Well Intervention Vessels will be using Wärtsilä gensets

“They call it the ‘one million dollar button’ but in fact the cost of hitting it is several million dollars,” Matthias Becker of Wärtsilä tells Stevie Knight.

He talking about the automatic disconnect button that seals the pipes of a well intervention vessel, allowing it to leave the site. He adds: “When you are connected by thousands of metres of tubes and valves to the well site it is going to be expensive to move off. Especially since getting back to it means everything has to be reinstated by AUVS.”

Mr Becker points out that the sums involved in interruption to operations mean that the dynamic position system and the energy supply behind it has to keep working, even in 6m or 7m waves and wind speeds to match.

As is expected there is a huge demand for both redundancy and efficiency, so the two Siem well intervention vessels (WIVs) being built at the Flensburger Schiffbau Gesellschaft (FSG) yard in Germany have not been content with simply splitting the switchboard, but have spread the power management across two completely separate engine rooms.

The eight six-cylinder in-line Wärtsilä 32 generating sets have been chosen carefully: “The Wärtsilä 32 engines are the most suitable for this project due to their overall performance in terms of fuel consumption, emissions, weight and size,” says Mr Becker. He adds: “This version of the 6L32 engine is still quite new, it has 580kW per cylinder output, which means you get 3,340kWe rather than 2,880kWe as we realised this higher power means saving energy.” It still has quite a compact footprint and comes in at 57 tonnes weight.

Further, he explains that as the US insists on Tier III regulations being enforced in 2016 “we can’t ignore that big a chunk of the market, so each genset will be fitted with an SCR catalyst to clean the exhaust and NOx emissions”.

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