Atlas Copco Compressors has completed delivery of a large custom-designed main air compressor package, weighing approximately 50 tonnes, to Baku, Azerbaijan for installation on a platform located 90km offshore in the Shah Deniz oilfield within the South Caspian Sea.
Mounted on a single skid and comprising three ZR500 water-cooled screw compressors, a closed circuit water cooling system, three heatless dryers and separate ZT110 black start screw compressor for emergencies, the package was purpose designed, built and fully tested at Atlas Copco’s Systems Hemel Hempstead workshop in the UK, one of the company’s six global competence centres that create and assemble bespoke compressed air and nitrogen generation installations primarily for the oil and gas industry.
The physical size of the main air compressor package, which is over 11m long, 6m wide and 3.75m high, meant it had to be delivered in a reinforced crate along with specially designed lifting equipment to support offloading and handling at its destination. This brought the total size of the final delivered package to almost 90 tonnes, which was moved from the workshop using a 12 tonne fork lift truck onto the back of a special heavy load bearing lorry that travelled via police escort to Immingham docks for shipping to Baku. During transit, the package will then travel via canal, timed to avoid freezing weather conditions, from the Black Sea into the Caspian Sea for installation on the platform.
Due to the exposed nature of the offshore platform where it will be installed, the main air compressor package has been weatherproofed, winterised and built to withstand harsh environmental conditions including high wind speeds of up to 45m/s and ambient air temperatures ranging from -7degC to +40degC at high relative humidity. Designed for continuous 24h operation, the package was tested to withstand inertial accelerations as a result of seismic activity and is also soundproofed to operate with low noise emissions.
Paul Frost, Manager of Systems Hemel Hempstead comments: “The completion of this latest package is an excellent example of the technical expertise and cutting-edge facilities we are able to deploy at Systems Hemel Hempstead, which has attracted increased demand from the global oil and gas industry in recent years. For this project we had to take several challenging design and environmental considerations into account to ensure we met the customer’s specific requirements both on time and within budget.”
Instrument air for pneumatic controls
Once installed, the main air compressor package will provide instrument air for pneumatic controls and actuation of critical valves and instruments on the offshore platform. Under normal operating conditions, two of the main air compressors will be running continuously to provide 100 per cent of the platform’s instrument air requirements. However, in the event of non-availability of one of the compressors, the third, standby compressor, will start and provide the necessary capacity. In the event of a power failure and loss of the main air compressor package, the black start air compressor, which is supplied by the platform’s emergency power generator, will start and provide the minimum compressed air needed to safely shutdown the platform operations.
Atlas Copco’s Systems Hemel Hempstead custom engineering workshop recently underwent a major expansion following a £680,000 (EUR870,000) upgrade to strengthen its world-class credentials. The workshop in Hemel Hempstead, UK, has seen its total floor area expanded from its original 850m2 to 1950m2. An external 12m × 15m covered test area has also been built, adding a valuable additional space for testing large engineered packages in any weather. Packages can be moved around in the workshop more easily thanks to the provision of two new 5-tonne cranes, trackways and controls, which complement three existing cranes. Other new additions include two modern spray paint booths to replace the original single unit and a new grit blast facility, meaning that virtually any customer paint specification can be met. These additions increase working capacity and throughput, shortening lead times to the customer.
To learn more about custom air compressor packages, please visit www.atlascopco.co.uk.