Increasing installation efficiency in Marjan, automated cable pulling tech saves time
The project team estimates that the total length of the cables in the GOSP will be over 200 km, and a new electrical cable pulling technology paves the way for better efficiency and safety.
Aramco’s Marjan Increment Program, which is one of the biggest offshore development programs in the company’s history, can be considered the biggest offshore development in the world right now.
As part of the program, a new Marjan Offshore Gas-Oil Separation Plant (GOSP-4) complex will be constructed as a record-breaking offshore complex in terms of size and production capacity.
The development of the offshore GOSP will entail mega-scale construction works from all aspects and disciplines. The new offshore GOSP complex will cover a staggering length of more than 1.2 kilometers (km) with six major platforms, 12 interconnecting bridges, and multiple deck levels with complex equipment distributed throughout the facility.
The project team estimates that the total length of the cables in the GOSP will be over 200 km.
This is more than the distance covered when traveling from Dammam to al Hofuf (or in an offshore prospective, it is almost 10 times the length of the King Fahd Causeway).
The team recognized the challenges associated with the work involved in pulling and installing a large amount of cables in the offshore facilities. Following the traditional/manual cable pulling methods is time-consuming and can extend the project schedule, as many activities cannot begin before completing the cable pulling.
To resolve the challenges; the team scouted the construction technology knowledge base for a solution. After careful evaluation, an automatic cable pulling system was considered.
The new electrical cable pulling technology will be utilized in GOSP-4, and it will be expected to revolutionize the criticality of doing cable pulling work in the future.
This automated cable pulling system is an advanced method that uses smart rollers during the cable pulling work between the platforms and across bridges, reducing the pulling duration while ensuring the cables’ integrity and maintainability.
The system is electrically operated with a control panel for monitoring and controlling the pulling speed and force. It consists of synchronized motors, air inflated rollers, controllers, power panels, and CCTVs.
Badr M. Burshaid, Marjan and Zuluf Increment Projects Department manager, explained, “Nowadays, utilizing advanced technologies in construction is becoming a necessity and not a luxury. GOSP-4 will be the biggest offshore facility ever built by Aramco. It will be massive from all aspects, and is therefore, challenging to construct.
If we continue executing the project following the traditional construction methods, we will set ourselves up to fail. That’s why we keep challenging ourselves and our contractors to bring the best and most advanced construction technologies that will allow us to do the work as required.
— Badr M. Burshaid
“This automated cable pulling technology is only one of many technologies that we have either deployed or are in the process of adapting in our construction. This technology and others will preserve the project schedule, reduce cost, and allow us to execute the work safely and more productively.”
The first utilization of the technology is expected during the platforms’ fabrication in 2022 and will continue until the final cable pulling in 2024.
Increase in productivity
It is forecasted that the utilization of the automated cable pulling technology will significantly increase productivity while reducing the required manpower by 75%.
This will also lead to major safety risk avoidance as many of the cable pulling activities will take place offshore or while working at heights.
— By Abdulelah A. Bajandouh and Salem Kbaibah
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The new electrical cable pulling technology will be utilized in GOSP-4.