Cummins QSK95s: Big Electric Power for Conversion of Ariake to FPSO


Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels are essential tools in the search for oil  in deeper waters, further from shore-based facilities. Typically, the large FPSO is stationary with a number of wells feeding oil into its holds. The oil can then be pumped off to shuttle tankers that transport it to shore side tanks and refineries.

FPSOs are big expensive pieces of equipment. Some of them are converted from ocean going oil tankers. Such is the case with the 333 by 60-meter, very large crude carrier, VLCC Ariake, which was purchased for conversion to an FPSO. The ship was built by Hitachi in Japan and delivered in January of 2001. Once the conversion process is completed the ship will be deployed off the east coast of India. It will be capable of storing up to 1.3 million barrels of oil and processing 90,000 barrels of oil per day.

The conversion, to be completed by late 2021, is being carried out by Singapore-based Sembcorp Marine under contract to Shapoorji Pallonji and Bumi Armada. The Ariake, built in 2000, will require some hull upgrading and, more significantly, the addition of three topside modules.

Energy demands on a floating production vessel are significant. Much of the ships original machinery will be retained, including the Hitachi Zosen main engine. To meet additional energy requirements, an electric generator powered by Cummins’ most powerful marine engine is installed as essential genset. The 16-cylinder, QSK95-DM powered generator is rated at 3000 ekw, 60 Hz, 6600 volts with a power factor of 0.8.

ABS Surveyors Witness Shop Test. (Photo courtesy Cummins/Haig-Brown)

Alternator is open coupled with the engine through a Vulkan high flexible coupling, both alternator and engine are solidly mounted on the base-skid with the isolators located under it to provide excellent effect of noise and vibration reduction. Sea water pump is mounted on the engine, loose-supplied heat exchanger is mounted on the front end of base-skid. To ensure safety of operation on an FPSO, two air shut off valves are upfitted on the engine and shall take actions automatically in case of either emergency or overspeed.  Beyond the engine mounted electric starters, a second customer supplied IPU hydraulic starter is also provided on the engine, it can start the engine by three times totally when fully energized.

Cummins Director of China Marine Marketing &Sales, Allen Xiong, noted, “The genset was assembled by MT Power who is our GOEM partner in China, MT Power worked closely with our experienced engineers to overcome the engineering difficulties to complete the challenging assembly and delivery in China, I am proud of their job”.

In addition to the QSK95-DM-powered essential generator set, the FPSO Ariake is being fitted with a powerful QSK60-DM emergency generator set rated at 1600 ekw and 440 volts with the same 60 Hz and power factor of 0.8.

The vessel will be classed ABS and IRS.

QSK95 Genset on Test Bed the red tanks supply the Hydraulic starter. (Photo courtesy Cummins/Haig-Brown)

QSK60 Genset on Test bed. (Photo courtesy Cummins/Haig-Brown)

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