Palfinger’s remotely operated cranes for Norway’s offshore platforms
In what is believed to be a world first, Palfinger will equip Aker BP’s new installations with state-of-the art offshore cranes based on a new technology and standardisation to increase the safety level and reduce operating costs. The Norway-based oil exploration and development company, Aker BP, is planning a final investment decision in 2022 for the NOA Fulla field development in the NOAKA area and a new central platform on Valhall (NCP) with tie-in of King Lear. Both developments are planned with advanced technology standards in terms of equipment.
Palfinger and Aker BP have years of successful collaboration behind them: just recently Palfinger delivered four offshore cranes to the Valhall IP platform. Remote operations are an important part of Aker BP’s strategy to reduce risk and exposure of personnel working on their assets as well as optimise operating costs. Palfinger ‘s research and development in this field proved to be decisive.
The ability to provide safe and secure working conditions is one of the main drivers for remote and autonomous control. Additionally, the technology is also expected to yield huge cost savings, particularly for operations that traditionally require either calm weather conditions, large crews and facilities, or highly repetitive tasks that can be performed remotely with new digital tools.
In 2017 Palfinger started working on the concept for Remote Operated Offshore Cranes (ROOC) together with Aker BP and Optilift. The technology of the ROOC for the new platforms will be based on the work done in the past years as well as the recent deliveries to the Valhall IP platform. Andreas Hille, Senior vice president of Product Line Management and Engineering at Palfinger said, “We are excited to continue our cooperation with Aker BP on this project which combines innovation, research and development based on our many years of experience. Together we are setting new standards providing modular and scalable offshore cranes with integrated remote and autonomous control technologies.”
The framework agreement between Aker BP and Palfinger is valid for ten years with the option to extend. It covers the development and implementation of remote-controlled cranes as well as the delivery of a total of six electric cranes for four platforms.
Ine Dove, SVP Operations & Asset Development at Aker BP said, “NOA Fulla og NCP/King Lear are major field developments on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The cranes Palfinger will deliver through the frame agreement represent a very important delivery in our operations strategy where remote work and automation are key drivers. By standardising cranes across these development projects, we can also improve quality and reduce costs.”