- We have good experience with such mechanical tasks, but this takes us to new heights, says head of mechanical in Beerenberg, Bertil Bargård. The project he is referring to is the replacement of 4 torch tips with associated electrical and steam pipes at the Kårstø processing plant. The assignment was awarded by Equinor.

During one week in September 2024, 140 access technicians will carry out over 20,000 hours of work at Kårstø. Three of the torches will be replaced by helicopter and on the last one a complex winch system will be used for the replacement. More than 500m of steam pipe will be removed and more than 700m will be installed.

Around 30 fields are affected

With only seven days to do the whole job, time is clearly a critical factor in this project, while HSE must be taken care of in a good way. The reason for this limited time is that Kårstø receives a supply of gas, condensate and light oil from around 30 fields. These fields must either shut down, or direct their production towards the UK. The torches must be operational for the plant to be restarted.

It goes without saying that every minute counts, and we must deliver both safely and in record time, says Bargård.

Each torch tip is located in a flame tower and has the function of relieving pressure in the system if operational problems, leaks or other critical situations occur in the system. This is the last safety barrier in the facility and must function at all times. Maintenance of the torches must be carried out at regular intervals where the torch tip is also replaced as a unit.

- We will carry out work within Mechanical, Electrical and complex rigging in combination with access technology. We have many skilled and experienced employees in climbing and lifting operations both on and offshore, and that will come in handy in this demanding assignment, says Bargård.

Risk testing

At heights of up to 100 metres, the work will take place both day and night and good interaction both internally and externally in the design and planning phase will be important.

- We must at all times have control that we have sufficient and correct material, equipment and personnel. 60 tonnes of steam pipes are to be transported to the plant in advance, and all material is colour-coded so that there is no room for misunderstandings along the way. Good logistics will be essential to accomplish the mission in the limited time available.

The project organization will carry out risk analyzes in the planning phase, precisely to eliminate errors and deficiencies before the actual execution next year. The project organization is focused on delivering good and time-saving solutions in the project where we will have a maximum of 9 engineers in the project team.

- This will be demanding, but also incredibly fun. It's not every day that we get to work on projects of this size and that clearly gives us extra motivation to succeed, concludes Bargård.

A declaration of trust

Executive director for new construction and maintenance, Nils Halvor Berge is clear that the company's experience with such assignments is a strength in competition with other players in the market. - We are proud of the broad competence and the strong ownership of the team in TT and the mechanical department. They have shown several times in the past that they handle complex assignments in an excellent way both with regard to HSE, quality and productivity. We experience it as a great vote of confidence from Equinor that we have been awarded a prestigious assignment of this scope.


Fire fakler skal byttes i løpet av syv dager på Kårstø anlegget. Foto: Bjørn Helge Rønning.

Four torches are to be changed within seven days at the Kårstø facility. Photo: Bjørn Helge Rønning.