GE Power Conversion selected to support Brazil drilling

Posted on 1 Oct 2012

GE’s Power Conversion business has been selected by Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd, a designer and builder of high-performance mobile offshore rigs, to supply the electrical power generation, thruster and drilling drive technology for six new semisubmersible drilling rigs for Brazil.

Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd. recently secured contracts from Sete Brasil Participações S.A. for the design and construction of semisubmersible drilling rigs, which will support the exploration of Brazil’s estimated 50 billion barrels of deep-sea oil and gas reserves.

The first rig is scheduled to enter service in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The South American nation is one of the world’s largest oil producers (if production plans are realised, by 2020 Brazil could be providing as much as 8 percent of the world’s oil supply), and its national oil company Petrobras has plans for $224bn in capital expenditures from 2011 to 2015.

Paul English, marine leader, GE’s Power Conversion business, said: “The flexibility and configurability of our electric power and propulsion system means that operators can grab all the advantages of multiple levels of redundancy and convert them into improved vessel availability without having to pay an unreasonable penalty in terms of weight, machinery space and capital equipment cost.

“Our advanced power generation, motor and drive technologies, like those being used in this project with Keppel FELS, are being harnessed to help improve today’s marine and offshore processes for a cleaner, more productive vessel.”

UK trade and investment minister Lord Green, speaking in Rio de Janeiro during a trade mission to Brazil, reflected on the importance of the deal: “I congratulate GE Energy’s Power Conversion business for securing new business in Brazil’s offshore. Getting more companies exporting is a crucial part of the Government’s plan for growth. “

Significant elements of the equipment delivery for these rigs will be delivered locally through GE’s Brazilian manufacturing units to provide timelier, cost-effective solutions to the expanding Brazilian offshore and shipbuilding industries.

GE’s equipment will be delivered in phases between 2012 and 2016.