Wärtsilä has launched a partnership with drilling contractor Maersk Drilling to create a 25-year thruster maintenance strategy to increase uptime and reduce costs.
The strategy will be applied to Maersk’s three semi-submersible rigs and four drillships.
Already, the companies completed the strategy work on the D-rigs and it is said that work related to V-Drillships has begun.
A reduction in the thruster exchange time means that the time spent by the deepsea rigs and drillships in sheltered waters for thruster maintenance will decrease.
Wärtsilä Propulsion System Services vice-president Tamara de Gruyter said: “This is an important step for us: Wärtsilä and Maersk Drilling are taking cooperation to a new level, working as one team to ensure that operations on Maersk’s drilling rigs can proceed without unnecessary interruptions.”
Under the joint strategy, Wärtsilä has set-up a framework for scheduled maintenance, as well as thruster services and equipment exchange in emergency scenarios.
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Under the deal, the company is required to supply spare thrusters and long-term storage maintenance to Maersk Drilling.
Maersk Drilling chief technology officer Frederik Smidth said: “Our fleet operates in remote locations and very demanding weather conditions, which poses a challenge to maintenance.
“Together with Wärtsilä, we have created a comprehensive strategy that takes into account a variety of realistic scenarios and provides detailed responses.”
Wärtsilä is expected to deliver four new spare thrusters to Maersk Drilling’s semi-submersible rigs during this year, adding to the four existing spare units.
According to the company, the presence of eight spare thrusters will enable reduction of the shutdown period by hot swopping all thrusters with the spare units.
It is said that the move will offer additional flexibility to planning shutdowns to ensure minimal impact on operations.
The exchange of information and expertise under the partnership will enable the companies to meet the maintenance needs for a new vessel fleet, optimising logistics and cost efficiency.
The thruster maintenance strategy is expected to increase uptime and reduce costs.