Products and solutions Mar 20, 2000 1:00 AM
Components segment: eight meter bearing for Brazil
Hoesch Rothe Erde GmbH has supplied a bearing measuring eight meters in diameter and weighing 27 tonnes for a Brazilian offshore oil production unit. This is one of the biggest non-segmented bearings manufactured in recent years by the company's Lippstadt plant (Germany); bearings with diameters in excess of eight meters have to be segmented.
The bearing is to be used in an FPSO vessel (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) in the Espadarte oil field off the coast of Brazil, where crude oil is recovered from a water depth of 1,000 meters. An internal turret mooring system anchors the vessel to the seabed, and the Hoesch Rothe Erde bearing enables it to weathervane about the turret and take the line of least resistance to changing tides and winds. This permits continuous production of crude oil, which is initially stored in the vessel and then offloaded onto other tankers.
The complete FPSO weighs 285,000 tonnes. As with all other systems in the vessel, the large-diameter bearing is designed for a minimum lifetime of 16 years. In addition to customer specifications, the offshore conditions of the American Bureau of Shipping also had to be met. Hoesch Rothe Erde has supplied a further seven precision bearings between 1,000 and 2,000 mm in diameter for swivel joints on the same vessel.
The FPSO will be owned by the Swiss SBM company and operated on a hire basis by Petrobras, Brazil. Hoesch Rothe Erde GmbH's order was awarded by the US company Imodco Inc. in California, which is building the turret for SBM.