How to manage structural integrity in ship conversion and life time extension projects?

How to manage structural integrity in ship conversion and life time extension projects? February 2020 -

The structural integrity of ships and floating units for operations at sea is a basic prerequisite for successful operations. Application of advanced hydro-structural techniques in an early phase of conversion, life-extension or redeployment projects allows more realistic assessment of the condition. This allows the utilisation of structural reserves while identifying weak areas that require an update. Redeployment of FPSO’s is a typical example where such techniques can pay off.

Focus on minimising changes during conversion

The redeployment potential is one of the key features that make FPSO’s cost-effective. However, redeploying an FPSO (while possible) is not easy, as FPSO’s are designed for a specific regulatory regime and field requirements. The key drivers for a successful redeployment are, amongst others, strict functional and safety requirements, multi-disciplined approach and clarity about regulatory changes. But most importantly, it is found that one should focus on minimising changes during conversion. This can be realised by investing in a proper in-depth front end engineering design (FEED) phase. In this phase the main goal is to verify, whether the FPSO fits the field and whether the field fits the FPSO. A proper insight in the hydrodynamic behaviour and the structural integrity of the hull is therefore essential.

A special hydro-structural approach

Nevesbu has developed a hydro-structural approach for ship conversion and lifetime extension projects, which provides proper insight to assess whether the FPSO fits the field and the extent of structural work required to fit the field. Read more about this approach in this article, that was published in SWZ Maritime’s January issue.

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