SENER Ingeniería y Sistemas, S.A. has undertaken new structural calculations on the helideck of the Alba Floating Storage Unit (FSU), located in the Alba field, some 130 nautical miles northeast from Aberdeen. The Alba FSU was built twenty years ago by Astilleros y Talleres del Noroeste, S.A. (ASTANO) from a concept and class design by SENER and includes a helideck platform to operate helicopters in the regular tasks of crew relays and provision of supplies.
It is anticipated that the Alba FSU will perform aerial operations with crafts bigger than the original design parameters, and therefore it was necessary to recalculate the Alba FSU helideck structure. The Alba FSU is operated by Chevron North Sea Limited who, along with its Alba field co-venturers, contracted the engineering works to SENER as the design authority.
SENER retrieved all the information and was able to undertake the calculations based on the new loads. The use of the most advanced software applications for the structure calculation and the knowledge from the SENER technicians allowed SENER to calculate that the current Alba FSU is capable to resist even under the most severe static and dynamic combined loads. Thus, simulated unplanned situations such as emergency helicopter lands over the Alba FSU subject to the typical accelerations from high seas resulted in steel stress values within the allowed range. SENER concluded that there is no requirement for additional reinforcement of the Alba FSU helideck for the nearly 3,000 Kg of additional weight of such new helicopters.
Press Release, October 31, 2012; Image: senermar