An oil company turned to Houlder to develop an innovative power ship design – the goal being to provide emergency electrical power to oil production facilities should supply through shore cables be interrupted.
The design enables restoring of power to any offshore facility in the region within four days of an unscheduled outage. The capacity was defined at 36MW to meet the 30MW requirements of most subsea feeders with some redundancy. Houlder’s design study also considered the option of two vessels working in parallel to deliver the higher capacities expected in the years to come.
Houlder considered four modes of operation for the power ship design – alongside in port, preparation for service, transit and hook up and power generation. Following a day’s transit (the maximum distance being 125NM), the vessel will be dynamically positioned just off the platform requiring power. Electrical fitters and their equipment will be transferred to the platform. When the platform installation is complete the power cable will be transferred using the vessel’s crane and the supply connected. The vessel will then move away from the platform to a safer distance with the power cable paying out. It can then stay on station providing the new electrical power supply.
Houlder developed the power ship design to the point of a shipyard specification.