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Maersk Oil Rig Lift North Sea

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Panoramic view of the rig: the elevator connects the lowest level of the rig with the helipad on the left, allowing workers to escape in case of a fire.

Working with partners around the globe, DOPPLER designed a lift that provides safety and comfort in one of the world’s harshest environments.

submitted by Katerina Manolopoulou, DOPPLER S.A.

Maersk Drilling is a global oil and gas production company that provides drilling services to oil companies around the world. The head offices are in Copenhagen, Denmark, but the company has offices in 11 countries around the globe.

Maersk offices in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, invited DOPPLER S.A. to carry out a survey of the feasibility of manufacturing a lift for the Maersk Resolute oil rig operating in the Central North Sea. A passenger lift was required to transport bed linens and other goods between laundry rooms and the rig’s cabins. After extensive research, our company assembled a team of experts from around the globe and produced an eight-person lift enclosed in an elevator trunk structure.

Once the specifications were received, the first challenge was to find a lift manufacturer with which we could work closely to achieve the correct solution. This lift was the first to be added to an existing rig, which would be towed from the Netherlands to the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, where the most stringent codes apply.

Since it was a special project with unique requirements and characteristics, our technical director and staff spent many months ensuring the design was correct. For example, computerized shutdown capability was incorporated into the design for use in emergencies. This entailed many trips to the lift shaft fabricator. DOPPLER was required to submit various technical documents to the London office of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).

Once the lift received manufacturing approval, labor was planned, and delivery times were set. The lift came directly from DOPPLER’s manufacturing facility in Greece, then was transported to the Netherlands and handled by a workforce from Lift Services (South Wales) Ltd. (LSSW) in the U.K.

Special characteristics of the project were the car frame and hydraulics, which are made of steel, galvanized metal and biodegradable oil; the electrical system with its unique specifications; cabin specs; doors; and many other security features.

The elevator has five stops, a capacity of 1250 kg and a speed of 0.63 mps. It travels 13 m. Its trunk structure enclosure is in compliance with ABS, Danish Maritime Authority, ISO 8383 (lifts on ships), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization and the Italian Electrotechnical Committee rules and regulations.

IS0 8383 and ABS’ Guide for Certification of Lifting Appliances cover means of escape, specific lighting solutions, communications and ventilation. For this project, DOPPLER covered all the bases. The entire steel structure is made of high-grade structural steel. Extra guide shoes, guide brackets and rollers were supplied.

The system boasts a unique, halogen-free lighting package and emergency-stop operation in the cabin, which is activated by pressing a red button.

The preassembled electrical wiring includes double-insulated cable and flexes; International Protection-rated connections that prevent dust ingress and water damage, biodegradable synthetic oil in the power unit, an escape hatch and emergency ladders. All features are in compliance with EN 81-72, including the doors: with a fire resistance of 2 hr. and manufactured per ISO 8383, they were outfitted with deflectors on top to stop splash at 45˚, as required by ABS.

Once the lift was on the rig, ABS inspected it at various times throughout installation. The system passed its tests both for EN 81-72 and ABS and was then handed over to Maersk.

CREDITS

  • Client: Maersk
  • Contractor: ABS
  • Manufacturer: DOPPLER, S.A.
  • Installer: LSSW
  • Engineer: Harris Pye
  • Suppliers: Wittur (doors), Drako (ropes), Steel Center S.A. (steel), Dätwyler Cables GmbH (cables), HELUKABEL® (wiring), ACLA-WERKE GmbH (buffers), Blain Hydraulics (valve block), Shell (oil), Hydronic SpA (pistons)
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Katerina Manolopoulou

Katerina Manolopoulou

DOPPLER S.A.

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