ABB to support Bacalhau offshore oilfield in Brazil

ABB will supply E-house solution to ensure energy efficiency and asset utilization.

Rendering courtesy of MODEC
Rendering courtesy of MODEC

Japan-based MODEC, Inc. (MODEC), a global supplier and operator of floating production systems, is working as an engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) partner for a floating production storage and offloading system (FPSO) to be deployed at the Bacalhau ultra-deepwater oil field development project targeting the pre-salt reservoirs in Santos Basin in Brazil. The project is jointly developed by top oil and gas firms including Equinor and ExxonMobil with a 40 percent share and Petrogal Brasil having a 20 percent share.

The Bacalhau FPSO, one of the biggest in Brazil, will be permanently moored to the seabed within the BM-S-8 block. It is estimated to have an operational life of around 25 years with a production capacity of 220,000 barrels of crude oil per day and two million barrels of storage capacity.

 In January 2021, ABB won the contract with MODEC to deliver E-Houses that are prefabricated transportable substations, designed to house medium voltage and low voltage switchgears along with critical power equipment and automation systems. The solution reduces onsite risks and ensures a higher level of safety and security while enabling shorter start-up and commissioning time.

ABB also has a dedicated team of experts in Brazil that is able to support the commissioning and operations phases throughout the entire life cycle of the project.

Cost-effective solution

“This was a complicated project which is why we engaged with our customer from an early stage and customized the E-house solution with related technology ,” said Khaleef Khan, Vice President of Sales responsible for the oil & gas segment in Asia for ABB’s Energy Industries division.

ABB tailored the E-House solution to meet Equinor’s specific requirements and optimize the Bacalhau FPSO operations by reducing on-site complexities. Since the FPSO is one of the largest to be built, the E-House design is very critical considering that it is housing major equipment like the variable speed drives (VFD) and transformers that are both heavy-weight and produce heat while in operation. Therefore, ABB provided a reliable and optimized design that can help lower the E-House footprint.

ABB also prepared the design optimization blueprint to save optimum space on the topsides. ABB has worked with MODEC on many FPSO projects for Brazil and West Africa and also with Equinor on North Sea and Brazilian projects.

“This project is very important for ABB as both MODEC and Equinor are our strategic clients. The success of this project will be a major milestone for us to further expand our footprint in the FPSO sector,” Stein Guldbrandsoy, Global Segment Manager, Offshore and FPSO,  ABB noted.

ABB’s Process Automation business is a leader in automation, electrification and digitalization for the process and hybrid industries. We serve our customers with a broad portfolio of products, systems, and end-to-end solutions, including our #1 distributed control system, software, and lifecycle services, industry-specific products as well as measurement and analytics, marine and turbocharging offerings. As the global #2 in the market, we build on our deep domain expertise, diverse team and global footprint, and are dedicated to helping our customers increase competitiveness, improve their return on investment and run safe, smart, and sustainable operations

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries.


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