Offshore Platform Power

The Background

Woodside Petroleum’s ‘Pluto’ LNG Project is set to break all the development records, taking just five years from gas discovery in 2005, to production in late 2010.

The Requirement

To meet such a bold challenge Woodside Petroleum has enlisted the support of Australia’s leading mining industry suppliers, and according to Energy Power Systems Australia’s (EPSA) Oil and Gas Business Manager, Rob Siegrist, the Pluto LNG Project is one of the largest Petroleum projects EPSA has undertaken to date. “Woodside’s total investment in the Pluto project is over $12 billion, so their brief was clear – it has to be delivered on time and on budget.

“EPSA was the successful tenderer for the prime power gen-sets on the normally unmanned offshore riser platform, as well as the black start emergency gen-sets for the LNG plant on Burrup Peninsula. “In both cases we are delivering complete Cat engine / alternator packages which appealed to Woodside from a continuity of servicing perspective.

The Solution

“For the offshore riser platform we recommended Cat’s 240kW ‘3406’ Marine package gen-set, as with water cooled exhaust manifolds and turbo chargers it means lower surface temperatures which greatly reduces the risk of fire in the unlikely event of combustible gas being present.

“With this installation reliability, serviceability and safety were paramount due to the sites remote location, so we modified the three gen-sets to deliver the best possible outcome for the customer.

“These modifications included fitting non sparking radiator fans and belts, extra lube oil capacity and additional filters – that push oil changes out to 1,000 hours.

“We also fitted a synchronisation and load sharing control system which enables the second gen-set to be paralleled if needed, with the third gen-set being available for back-up if required.“In line with Woodside’s requirement for safety the gen-sets will be housed in stainless steel acoustic enclosures that incorporate a Marriott ‘Hi-Fog’ water mist fire extinguishing system, which in the event of fire fills the enclosure with a very fine water mist that robs the fire of oxygen – while being absolutely harmless to the engines, components and people, unlike CO2 based extinguishing systems.

“And to put Woodside in total control the three gen-sets will be fitted with local and remote monitoring and control systems.

“Following successful testing in mid August the gen-sets were packed to preserve them and shipped to Malaysia for installation on the platform, which will be floated by barge to the Pluto site and lifted into place prior to commissioning in late 2009.

“In the case of the black start emergency gen-sets we recommended Cat’s 2 MW ‘3516 B’ High Displacement package gen-sets, once again on the basis of safety – as these engines feature individual unit injection enabling low pressure fuel delivery to the cylinder through internal galleries, which greatly reduces the risk of accidental fuel leaks and therefore fire.

“If a power outage occurs, the gen-sets will start automatically using 24 volt batteries and synchronise to provide power to the turbines at the LNG plant on the Burrup Peninsula.

“And like the 250 kW gen-sets the black start units are a total Cat package and will feature local and remote monitoring and control using MODBUS communications technology which is part of Caterpillar’s latest EMCP 3.3 Control Panel. The 2 MW gen-sets have both local and remote control panels, the first one mounted in the enclosure with the other in the switchgear and control room”, Rob said.

The Results