GE’s power conversion business unit has secured an order from Singapore’s Swire Pacific Offshore Operations (SPO) to supply integrated power generation, propulsion, dynamic positioning (DP) and automation systems for eight new offshore platform supply vessels (PSVs).
Japan’s Universal Shipbuilding is building four of the PSVs, while the remaining four are being built by Brazil’s Estaleiro Ilha (EISA).
The vessels are designed to provide faster transit times between the home port and the oilfield by reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
Each vessel will be equipped with diesel electric propulsion systems that are based on GE’s Inovelis podded propulsion units.
GE’s Inovelis is a pushing pod that is based on pump jet principles and features a fixed stator vane and a nozzle that act together to guide the water flow across the propeller blades and housing.
The propulsion system helps in reducing wasted propulsion force as well as saving the fuel that is used in trying to compensate for the lost thrust, according to GE.
The optimised hull form is designed to integrate with the propulsion unit to offer improved efficiency, directly influencing fuel economy and emissions.
Swire Pacific Offshore managing director Neil Glenn said GE’s power generation, propulsion, DP and automation technology will help the company to provide customers with reliable and efficient PSVs.
"The search for oil and gas is taking operators into deeper waters and greater distances from shore – it’s vital that support vessels such as these achieve cost-effective rapid transit times between home port and the oilfield without sacrificing the capability to operate effectively and efficiently once on site in DP mode," Glenn said.
"GE’s technology, including Inovelis thrusters driven by their inherently efficient electric power and propulsion systems, balances the needs of both conditions to provide a system which best suits performance and fuel efficiency needs of both modes of operation [transit and DP]" Glenn added.
GE power conversion business marine vertical leader Paul English said: "Swire’s selection of GE’s integrated solution also benefits the two shipbuilders USC and EISA by giving them a single source for the power, propulsion and control/automation equipment, which streamlines the procurement process and reduces their technical and commercial risk."
Under the deal, GE will supply diesel engine-driven alternators, as well as main and auxiliary switchboards.
The propulsion system will include Inovelis podded propulsion units, thruster motors and variable frequency drives for the podded propulsion units and for the tunnel thrusters, and the C- Series dynamic positioning and vessel automation systems.
The equipment that will be delivered to the vessels will be built locally in Brazil, where GE has invested in production facilities.
Delivery of the equipment to the two shipyards is scheduled to take place between May 2013 and February 2014.
The first PSV is expected to enter service in September 2013, while the last is scheduled to launch in September 2014.