On 3pm Sunday 28 May 2017, the Maersk Invincible became the world's first harsh environment jack-up drilling rig to operate entirely on shore-power. This is possible because the rig is currently positioned at the AkerBP operated Valhall Complex in the central North Sea, a complex that receives its electricity from the shore. Here the Maersk Invincible has just commenced work on a five-year contract.
With the electricity reaching Valhall and the rig through a 294 km cable from Lista on the coast of Norway, Maersk Invincible is currently being powered by Norwegian hydropower.
"The testing and commissioning of the high voltage shore-power installation has been thorough," says Christian Adamsen, Technical Section Leader on board the rig. "Maersk Invincible is now a green power rig since Sunday, when we made the change to shore-power supply."
At 11.000 volts, the high voltage shore-power supply is capable of supplying up to 10 megawatts, corresponding to the consumption of up to 20.000 households. The innovation not only means reduced emissions, but also a cost saving in fuel and maintenance.
What is especially interesting for Maersk Drilling is that Maersk Invincible was built in Korea with this potential in mind from its conception. Contrary to her three sister rigs from Singapore, the electrical power system was designed, built, and prepared to receive the power from shore.
"Maersk Drilling is pleased that we have been able to successfully accommodate this request from our client AkerBP and together become first movers in introducing shore power operation on jack-up drilling rigs," says Peder Norborg, Head of the XL-E Newbuilding Project with Maersk Drilling.
The crew on the rig will now enjoy a much quieter work environment, since the diesel engine was one of the main sources of noise.
"This will reduce emissions from the rig. It will also reduce cost and time for maintenance on diesel engines and generators and give a better working environment in the engine rooms," says Christian Adamsen. "Furthermore, the deck will be easier to keep clean since we won't have soot from the exhausts. A common problem on drilling rigs is exhaust fumes in the derrick, on the drill floor, sometimes in crane cabins, and even in accommodation. This will all be eliminated by running on shore-power."