Commercial fuelling specialist Cameron Forecourt is playing its part in keeping the fuel flowing for crew boats and construction vessels serving the Barrow Offshore Wind Farm project off the Cumbrian coast.
The company has introduced innovative solutions and the latest web-based computerised fuel monitoring technology in its largest marine contract to date for renewable power generation company DONG Energy Power (UK) Ltd.
Cameron Forecourt have completed and commissioned the installation at DONG Energy’s bases in the port of Barrow-in-Furness where its chartered crew transfer and service vessels are based, making the journey of around nine kilometres to the company’s giant wind turbines almost daily.
With up to 14 boats on the go and with each return journey taking approximately 2,000 litres of marine diesel, a constant supply of fuel and up to the minute information on wetstock levels is crucial to the smooth running of the operation and managing cost control.
When vessels refuel at the pontoon, the marine diesel fuel is drawn from a 60,000 litre tank installed by Cameron Forecourt on the dockside above. Fuel is transferred via lines encased within an igus high strength polymer “energy chain” – otherwise known as a darg chain – which encases the fuel pipe, water supply pipe, bilge pumping pipe and power supplies.
The innovative solution, which won Cameron Forecourt the national igus Vector Award, allows the supply installation to “travel” securely when the 60 metre pontoon rises and falls with the tides, which can be up to 11 metres. Adjacent fuelling installations are currently being refurbished by Cameron Forecourt to incorporate the “energy chain” solution to contain and protect the pipework and services.
At pontoon level, the refuelling personnel use an individually programmed electronic key to identify the craft to the fuelling system via the Cameron Forecourt Jigsaw fuel management system (FMS) terminal which is mounted within a robust protective pod to guard against wind, salt water and the elements.
Once the vessel has been identified fuel can be drawn and the data for each refuelling will then be accessible to approved users via the internet on any PC, laptop or other mobile device. This data can be matched to fuel stock information from the main land-based tank, which is monitored via an advanced Veeder-Root TLS 350 high accuracy electronic tank gauge monitoring tank inventory and safeguarding supplies.
Any discrepancy between the amount of fuel drawn at the pontoon-based pumps and the tank above might indicated problems such as leakage which could then be quickly isolated and dealt with. The overall system provides constant 24-hour monitoring all year round with up to the second fuelling information and alerts available either on site or remotely via the internet connection.
With the wind farm still in the construction phase, up to 17 supply and crew vessels have been working from the Barrow site at any one time. This will reduce as construction work reaches completion. However, the fuelling installation will continue to supply repair and maintenance vessels servicing Dong Energy’s 100 plus wind turbines out of a total of more than 280 in the Barrow Offshore Wind Farm field.
The system helps Dong Energy control running costs and monitor them closely. It provides constant monitoring and reports how much fuel each vessel takes, what they use, how much it is costing and when to replenish supplies. It also helps monitor things environmentally and ensure everything is functioning as it should.”