Wärtsilä and Maersk Drilling Agree to Long-Term Strategy for Thruster Maintenance

Maersk drillship
Photo credit: Wartsila

Finnish technology company Wärtsilä on Tuesday said it has reached an agreement with offshore drilling contractor Maersk Drilling create a long-term strategy aimed at reducing costs and downtime associated with thruster maintenance across Maersk’s fleet of modern deepwater drilling rigs.

The unique partnership sets the course for mapping out a 25-year strategy for performing thruster maintenance and repair for Maersk’s three semi-submersible rigs and four drillships. The comprehensive strategy defines planning procedures for scheduled maintenance, thruster services, and equipment exchange in emergency scenarios. By reducing exchange time, the deepwater rigs and drillships will spend less time having to return to sheltered waters for thruster maintenance.

“Increased understanding of one another’s operations and demands helps the two companies to plan and further develop the optimal and most efficient ways of executing thruster maintenance,” Wärtsilä said in a statement announcing the partnership. “With open exchange of information and knowledge, Wärtsilä and Maersk can also adopt a holistic view of the maintenance needs for a fleet of vessels over an extended time period, and thus optimise logistics and cost efficiency.”

Maersk Drilling semi-submersible rigs Maersk Developer, Maersk Discoverer and Maersk Deliverer are equipped with eight Wärtsilä LMT-FS3501 thrusters each.

Under the agreement, Wärtsilä’s will supply spare thrusters as well as long-term storage maintenance. Specifically, four new spare thrusters will be delivered during 2018 and added to the four existing spare units. “By having a full set of eight spare thrusters it is possible to reduce the shutdown period significantly by hot swopping all eight thrusters with the spare units. This provides additional flexibility to planning shutdowns in collaboration with clients to ensure minimal impact on operations,” according to Wärtsilä.

“Our fleet operates in remote locations and very demanding weather conditions, which poses a challenge to maintenance,” says Frederik Smidth, CTO, Maersk Drilling. “Together with Wärtsilä, we have created a comprehensive strategy that takes into account a variety of realistic scenarios and provides detailed responses. It is clear to us that this kind of intensive collaboration produces tangible results and benefits for both companies and our customers.”