Royal Dutch Shell’s Prelude, the largest floating production facility ever built, will be making its debut off the northwest coast of Australia in 2016 – with some help from ABB.
The ship, which cost more than $12bn to construct and has five times the displacement of a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, will have the job of liquefying natural gas in the Browse basin.
ABB has supplied the Prelude’s motors, generators, variable speed drives and low-voltage switchgear. As the vessel is the first of its kind to be deployed by the oil and gas industry, this electrical system had to be designed from scratch. It also had to meet extremely demanding performance targets: the vessel will be expected continuously to operate 14 gas plant modules between now and 2041 with a production volume of up to 5.3 million tonnes a year.
As well as designing, fabricating and installing the equipment, ABB was awarded a five-year contract to manage, maintain and optimize its operations, as well as those of motors from third-party vendors.
To support its service agreement, ABB will build up a spare parts inventory, carry out workshop repairs, and provide training and round-the-clock technical support to Shell’s engineers on board the vessel.