Swedish engineering company Trelleborg has supplied a selection of bearing solutions for the world’s first floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project – Shell’s Prelude FLNG.
Trelleborg said on Thursday that its engineered products operation manufactured and delivered 52 vertical elastomeric bearings and 156 horizontal bearings for use on the 13 modules onboard the vessel.
Also, the company manufactured 40 turret bogey bearings to enable natural turret movements.
Byoung-Gark Park, Topside Structural Engineer for Samsung Heavy Industries, the company responsible for procuring bearings for the topside modules, said: “Many of Prelude’s topside modules weigh as much as a single typical offshore platform. Prelude is expected to weigh a total of 600,000 tons. So, optimum quality and performance of the bearings used to secure each module are vital.
“We have worked closely with Trelleborg previously and are very confident in their ability to manufacture first class bearings. We were keen to involve their expertise on this prestigious project too.”
Trelleborg’s elastomeric bearings are steel plate laminated and installed between the hull of the facility and its modules. They accommodate axial, shear and rotational movement to keep the modules safe from impact, damage, and deformation.
The company added that, similarly, they prevent the concentration of excessive strains and stresses around the mounting points of the modules and the hull caused by adverse sea and weather conditions.
JP Chia, Engineering Manager for Trelleborg’s engineered products operation, said: “We design and manufacture all of our elastomeric bearings specifically for their application, to ensure that they always perform exactly as required. This approach was especially important for the Prelude topside, to guarantee that the record-breaking weight could easily be supported over its life.”
All of Trelleborg’s bearings are tested by its engineering team. They check the design for specified loads and deformations and the fatigue performance using crack growth analysis calculations.
Additionally, they examine wave action and the resulting multi-directional loads between a facility’s hull and topside modules. After production, bearings are a 100% individually tested according to a specified test procedure.
Prelude is under construction in Geoje, South Korea, before moving to Australia to begin operations. The facility is expected to remain on station at least 25 years as Shell and its partners develop gas reserves in the Browse Basin’s Prelude and Concerto fields.