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Generation Game: O&G project site power report

by Arabian Oil & Gas Staff on Jan 14, 2013

UAE oil storage facilities at Fujairah require upstream rated power generators during maintenance.
UAE oil storage facilities at Fujairah require upstream rated power generators during maintenance.

Fixed and mobile power generation specialists talk to Oil & Gas Middle East about the trends dominating upstream project power provision

Manufacturers and service providers for temporary power generation for upstream E&P activities say that most oil and gas companies remained focused on updating and retaining existing products in their fleet rather than procure new equipment throughout 2012, a trend expected to continue through this year.

For upstream clients the continuous supply of power is absolutely vital. In a way, the specific nature of supplying power to upstream or offshore plants means firms have to ensure products are top spec, as the alternative – a major power outage – simply isn’t an option.

“The major point to be considered is the reliability and uninterrupted supply of power,’ said Mostafa Al-Guezeri, president, ABB Transmission & Distribution. A failure of power can’t be afforded, because it could lead to stoppage of offshore oil or gas exploration process and result at least in significant decrease of industrial productivity and major loss in revenue.

Additionally the space constraints are a challenge for power generation in an offshore facility for example.” Al-Guezeri explains ABB employs a resolute approach in the power generation segment to optimise customised solutions, which have been developed on the basis of experience and know-how developed over decades.

“In power and water production and distribution processes, we are capable of providing everything related to the electrical (at all voltage levels), control, instrumentation, communication aspect of the generation process, plant management and optimization solutions either as a turnkey solution or stand-alone packages.

Selectively, we also provide mechanical balance of plant including civil scope for the power generation plant,” he added.

Terry McGuire, general manager of power and industrial, Famco (Al-Futtaim Auto & Machinery and Co) explains how the last few years have witnessed a paradigmatic shift in behaviour within the power transmission field: “The market is becoming more challenging due to the current economic situation – the influx of low-cost product and the fact that contracting companies are maintaining instead of replacing existing stock.

The trend previously was to replace generator sets after three years, whereas now, maintenance programmes are becoming more prevalent,” he said.

Another trend according to Al-Guezeri is utilising hybrid power to ensure consistent power supply, in the event of maintenance to the plant.

“Temporary power is practically only for smaller production capacity. Smaller engines are less efficient than larger machines. Unless it is in a remote area far away from a grid/network, temporary power generation solutions may not be a viable solution.

Considering the efficiency and OPEX of such plants we foresee more usage of hybrid power plants using solar. Currently ABB is one of the world leaders in providing turnkey solutions for such power plants.”

As a result, McGuire identifies rental companies, contracting companies and then exports as the strongest sector within the power generation and transmission market.

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