EnerMech has completed a slew bearing replacement on the North Crane on BP Azerbaijan Exploration’s Chirag 1 platform in Baku.
The project from design, build, testing and installation was completed within four weeks and was valued at more than £500,000.
Working closely with BP Baku’s structural team, EnerMech designed a crane-specific jacking frame, shipping in a face-flanging machine from Singapore for fabrication of the approved frame. Following a successful FAT test at EnerMech’s Baku yard, all equipment and materials was shipped offshore to meet the tight completion schedule.
The first challenge was to align the four jacking frame legs with the pedestal of the crane. Four jacking pads were welded directly onto the pedestal and the underside of the crane chassis and a habitat was built around the frame so that welding could begin.
After the successful completion and MPI of the welds, the final assembly of the jacking frame was constructed with 4x75Te hydraulic jacks placed in to the jacking frame legs. The Jacking structure was overload tested to ensure the integrity of the welds and bolts. Once this was successfully completed the 56 Te crane chassis was lifting to a height of 500mm.
The pedestal face and the underside of the crane chassis were checked by lasers for flatness and with readings confirmed as within the acceptable tolerances for the new slew bearing, no machining was required.
The new slew bearing was pulled onto the pedestal of the crane, ensuring that the “soft spot” of the bearing was positioned 90 degrees to the load path of the crane. In a reverse procedure of the jacking operation, the crane chassis was slowly lowered down onto the new bearing, new slew bolts were inserted and torqued to the OEM specifications.
EnerMech Cranes & Lifting Director, John Morrison, said: “After the final commissioning checks, the crane was proof load tested and returned to service. This scope of work was completed safely, on time and on budget, and was a real success for a project of this complexity.
“Our long-standing relationship with BP in providing cranes and lifting services in Baku, combined with our experience of completing similar projects in other regions, ensured both teams delivered a well-engineered and executed project.”
BP’s Offshore Installation Manager on Chirag 1, Niyaza Amirbayov described the project as “truly a One Team work” between EnerMech and BP staff, while CDWG Area Operations Manager, Orkhan Guliyev said good preparation and attention to detail led to “great safe delivery of massive scope.”