Saipem Taps IPS for Automation, Safety Equipment on Gimboa FPSO

Invensys Process Systems (IPS) has signed a $6 million contract with Saipem, a subsidiary of Italian energy company Eni and one of the largest turnkey contractors in the oil and gas industry.

Under the terms of the deal, IPS will provide and install automation and safety equipment on a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) structure destined for use in the Gimboa field, located approximately 85 kilometers off the coast of Angola. IPS will supply its Foxboro I/A Series technology for distributed process control and Triconex safety systems for emergency shutdown and fire and gas (F&G) applications, as well as fire-addressable systems and conventional and addressable fire and gas detectors. The company will also provide hardware and software engineering, project documentation, and training and site services.

"We worked very closely with Saipem to improve the quality and cost efficiency of the project," said Maurizio Visioli, Project Director, IPS. "Of particular importance was the provision of an acceleration plan and tie-back simulation for the distributed control and safety systems, which allows the factory acceptance test and the delivery of the system hardware to be carried out independently and much earlier."

The FPSO is currently being towed from the fabrication yard in Dubai to Angola, with commission and start up due to begin at the end of October. IPS initially won a lump-sum contract from Saipem in February 2007 to supply an integrated control and safety system (ICSS) for the automation of the topside and vessel process areas of the FPSO. The scope of the contract was subsequently extended to include supply of the I/A Series system for both the sub-sea control unit (SCU) and the hydraulic power unit, a move that allowed the SCU node to be fully integrated into the ICSS node via the mesh network without the need for additional equipment or interfaces and at a very competitive price.

"As a result of the acceleration plan, the cabinets were shipped to Dubai so mechanical installation work could proceed according to schedule, ensuring we would meet our milestones," said Antonio Marchionno, Gimboa FPSO Project Control System Engineer for Saipem.

The Foxboro I/A Series systems provide distributed control over the topside, vessel and SCU process areas, using FCP 270 processors and controls over 1,000 hardwired input/output points and 20,000 soft input/output points. The Triconex system performs ESD and F&G functions over 1,500 hardwired points both from and to the field, and two Triconex nodes have been installed, one for the topside and one for the vessel.


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